Sometimes when you have a lot of thoughts, it’s easy to ramble in confusion rather than select the most important idea and focus on a single point in a single blog post.
I would say this issue of racing thoughts and trouble discerning the Most Important Thing was never more of a struggle than during my fight with postpartum depression and suicidal thoughts. Everything seemed both worthless and super-important at the same time. All day long (and all night, since I never slept), I struggled to sort out which thoughts were good and true–and which were lies?
I wrote my testimony HERE, so I won’t explain all the various details now. But, suffice it to say, I was confused and hearing conflicting bits of “wisdom” from different places. And all the noise in my head seemed to make it impossible for my poor, fevered mind to rest on something True.
All I wanted was to get some rest. Yet, my ability to discern the Voice of Truth felt broken.
By the grace of God, I had the ability, at least, to recognize the dangerous place I was in. So, I prayed: “God, I know I’m extremely vulnerable to being misled right now. I will probably believe or do ANYTHING, if I think there’s the smallest chance it will stop this horrible suffering. Please intervene! Please protect me from the lies until I’m strong enough to resist them again, because I don’t know what’s true right now!”
That’s the one major difference I see between my own story of battling depression/anxiety and the story of so many Fallen Pastors whose testimonies I’ve read the last few months.
While I was hurting and asking difficult, faith-impacting questions and struggling to discern the truth from the lies, I was not putting myself in a position of leading others. I certainly never had the audacity to wag my finger at The Church for the things Christians are doing “wrong.”
It takes certainty and confidence to tell a whole group of people that they’re not handling my suffering correctly, and I didn’t have that certainty when I was struggling. There was no way I could tell the Christians in my life how to “properly” support my journey, because I WAS AWARE THAT I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT I NEEDED.
Yet, this air of certainty is precisely what so many Wolves in Shepherd’s Clothing have adopted, as they continue to teach publicly in their Twitter feeds and blog posts.
As they begin to shift away from teaching Christianity, they still invite their sheep to follow them… Though they may claim they “don’t have the answers,” it’s clear they are pretty sure they’re heading in the right direction when they list their reasons for abandoning their old churches.
Many of the Struggling Teachers openly admit they don’t know where they’re going. But, even if their “journey” takes them right off a cliff (who knows?), they still expect “amens” and “attaboys” for putting themselves first. And, of course, they will gladly continue to inform Christians about which politicians they should/shouldn’t support.
These posts are the worst kind of sermon: the kind that denies it is actually preaching at all!
And, make no mistake, the proud confusion of a Fallen Human leads to death, so I must speak up about it.
See, I know what it’s like to be overwhelmed and hurting.
I know how it feels to have soul-level questions, and a head full of conflicting ideas.
I know the frustration of simultaneously wanting to control my own life WHILE ALSO wanting to curl up in a ball and cry until someone cradles me and spoon-feeds me something–anything!–that will bring the tiniest bit of relief.
But this arrogance that says, “No matter where I’m going, at least I know–for sure–I’m better than THEM!!!”–that’s the arrogance that will kill a Wolf along with all the Sheep being led astray.
There’s not much that can help someone with an attitude like that.
So many confused and hurting people are clinging to the popular, cultural religion that sounds like humility, but on further inspection, it’s actually the seed of soul-killing pride. When a person is swallowing Lies–and then starts breaking off chunks to share with others–I’m forced to call it out.
A truly humble person is teachable. Humble people don’t just talk about open-mindedness, while refusing to hear any pushback or criticism from “Certain Kinds of Christians.” A broken, humble person can have honest doubts and serious questions–and those can be a great opportunity for God to show them truths they never knew before! (It’s not sinful to be confused…to want answers…to be tempted…)
But to grab a microphone and boldly proclaim whatever feels right in your season of confusion? To invite others to join in your self-worship? To lecture anyone who has the nerve to question you? To boldly (and with certainty) defend the lies you’re believing?
That IS a sin for which you will be held accountable.
So many Fallen Teachers only pretend they’re searching for answers, while their sermons about self-love and acceptance reveal what they really think. They take advantage of Soap Box Moments (like Marty Sampson), so they can shout their rallying cries about the Bad Church. It ought to tell you loud and clear that they haven’t really learned their lessons about faking confidence and leading when they don’t know what they’re talking about…
As always, they can’t help inviting people watch them and listen and follow them wherever they go.
Eventually, I plan to write a post for the many Christians who want to interact with these Fallen Teachers, but they’re not sure what to say. How can we help someone struggling in the Hell of confusion–when the only thing we’re allowed to say is, “WE LOVE YOU!” How do we intervene, when the Blind Shepherds are hurting themeselves and others, but everyone will just get angry and blame us for being The Bad Kind of Christian if we dare say something off-script? (I intend to focus that future post on a quote that was shared with me by a Recovery Counselor: “If an addict is happy with you, then you’re probably enabling him/her. And, if an addict is angry with you, then you’re probably trying to save his/her life.”)
But, I want to focus my thoughts on just one, Important topic in each single blog post.
So, for the time being, remember this:
If someone tells you “I don’t know where I’m going,” you should believe them.
Don’t follow a Confused Teacher off a cliff because you think it’s compassionate to “support” them on their journey to self-destruction.
And–if you are the person saying, “I don’t know where I’m going,” then that ought to be the only thing you say. Don’t keep preaching and teaching and lecturing and finger-wagging in the middle of your confusion, because that is the pinnacle of arrogance.
I understand being lied to by a bunch of noise in your head. I understand being willing to say or do almost ANYTHING to get some relief and make the suffering stop. But, in those moments where all the negative emotions are cascading all around you, and you’re not sure what’s good or true or right anymore…then, do the difficult thing and listen for answers instead of thinking this is still your time to speak.
Until you’re sure of which things are true and which are lies, just put down the microphone.