My friend Phil Drysdale is a man with a remarkable ministry.
He helps people to grow as Christians while giving them permission to allow that growth, in full realisation that sometimes that growth is constrained by the church environment they are in, maybe their circe of friends, maybe their family.
Phil helps these people to realise that it’s ok to grow outside the plant-pot they have been raised in since they were seedlings. Sometimes for the first time, these dear ones see that growth is normal, that it doesn’t always go in the direction that their peers want, and that it’s always healthy even if sometimes (actually usually!) painful. In his seminars and meetings, Phil provides a safe space where people can be open about all aspects of their growth, and realise from meeting others in a similar place that they’re not alone in their travels
And Phil has a lot more patience with naysayers than I do 😉 I don’t have a lot of time for people who try to bring down the Good News to their level, down there in the pits of mud and despair of deadly Religion. Religion that hampers rather than promotes; Religion that steals, kills and destroys rather than giving Life in all its fulness (Jn 10:10). But, more than anyone else I know, Phil also includes these people too in the ‘growth’ framework, because, whether they like it or not, and whether they fight it or not, the growth pressures are almost always still there. He can see it; I can’t.
And so that brings me to today’s gems of wisdom from Phil. I want to learn everything I can from this great little essay, and apply it. How well I will stand up when confronted by the naysayers, I don’t know…but this little piece is golden and I hope that my readers, at least, can be encouraged by it.
Over to Phil:
Many people are victims of their framework. When their rules of engaging with their faith require them to seek to move society backwards they are naturally going to be scared, confused, aggressive, upset etc. when society naturally moves forward.
There is no scenario in which they win, certainly not for more than a few years here or there which end up being blips in history. Any student of history will tell you we are moving gradually forward in remarkably positive ways.
We continue to move forward, society evolves, spirituality evolves. We are more loving, more inclusive, more accepting etc. etc.
These people are fighting a losing battle, they have lost again and again throughout history and while they can still have tremendous negative impacts on society that impact is lessening every single day. Not only that but less and less people are believing the lie that our future is in the past. Every day more and more people wake up and see the future is believe it or not, in the future! And even better, we can bring it about TODAY!
There is a danger that we look down upon such people rooted in the past though. The truth is that they are not inherently bad people but rather good people lost in an old dead system.
We must learn to cease demonising these groups of people intent on dragging the world backwards… rather we need to remember to humanise them. For they very much are human. They are scared, they have no other options for how to see the world. Some in time will wake up. But many won’t. And it is very unsettling to see society moving in the opposite direction from the one you’ve been told since birth we need to move.
The safer you can make them feel in these moments of growth and evolution the less grief we will be creating.
Our goal as we continue to transcend as a society should be to try and minimise the growing pains as much as we can for those not ready for growth. To love people where they are at while not allowing their desire to live in the past to hold society as a whole back.
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||⇧||Oh, I’m so poetic today! 😉|
|2.||⇧||Phil hasn’t asked me to do this, but it is possible to support him financially in his ministry. He also runs a network called ‘The Deconstruction Network’ which enables Christians from all over the globe to contact other Christians in a similar growth/deconstruction position. For more details, visit his website where the links to all his great material are available for free. There’s also his other site, ‘The Deconstruction Network‘. And if you’d like to support his ministry. there are links on both those sites about supporting him, via ‘becoming a partner’ or ‘support us’.|