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Fractured Faith | Lina Abujamra

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
July 16, 2022 1:00 am

Fractured Faith | Lina Abujamra

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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July 16, 2022 1:00 am

If something or someone has caused your faith to fracture, don’t miss this summer best-of Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Lina Abujamra went through a period of disillusionment with her church and its leaders. Instead of deconstructing or leaving her faith, she found it strengthened. What do you do with a fractured faith? Find out today on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. 

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I think the theme that comes up in this book is this father doesn't believe how much we give him call us to leave me parents.

The astounding reality has been thrown out of season.

Somewhere along the way and began to crumble, became disillusioned because churches hurt people you trust and let you down.

It felt like God was silent. Really there that you don't miss today's Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller "The 5 Love Languages" are guest on this summer best of initiatives, author, speaker and physician, Dr. Lena, Jim, you may hear dated references disregard those.

There has been a lot of talk lately, particularly in evangelical circles about deconstructing faith leaders to talk about her own experience and we have a new book length and Moody books.more. It's titled fractured faith. Finding your way back to God in an age of deconstruction go to Moody Chris, I think this discussion is going to be very pertinent because through the years and it worked with the same church now for 50 years and I have seen people walk away from God because of things that happen in the church and so excited about this conversation. I hope those who tuned in today will have open ears for themselves, as well as perhaps friends that they can use this book to help them. Yes this program. This conversation might be an answer prayer answer to prayer for you and somebody in your life that you're just really concerned about so all communities are guest Dr. Lena Abba genre is in pediatric ER doctor now practicing telemedicine.

She is the founder of living with power ministries popular Bible teacher, podcast or conference speaker. She's written the books thrive script resolved and the one will talk about today fractured faith, you hear her on Moody radio's today's single Christian and she's engaged in providing medical care and humanitarian help to Syrian refugees and others in disaster areas in the Middle East. Her ministry also provide spiritual retreats for women at the Hope ranch you find out more about or just go to five love welcome back to Building Relationships so good to be back with you guys. Let's jump into your story and it begins with the day you decided to walk away from your church, tell us about that. Well you explain this to sort of jumped speed at that point and I don't know that I even understood some of the questions that were my soul, except that I knew something dramatic was happening.

I was living in in Chicago a few years ago and now people think of Chicago as a place that has gone through some massive church stories very much publicly, written about, but what when we are living through it.

I was one of those people that was watching things unfold and so in that setting. There is a lot of questions about what was happening in our church and our leadership structure.

People are leaving the church elders are leaving the church very un-steadying season I had been in leadership at this church very much and closed inside circle, so to speak, and and and it was hard for a while to tell truth from lies gossip from reality and and and it was a point in that last year we that was really troublesome to me where I found that we were spending more time talking with close family members who are at the church with me and friends about what had happened. Stories going around about church and we were about the Lord some issue there. And by the time I had finally those things that happened. I discussed briefly in the introduction of the book where it was a point where was like black and white because time to leave and so by that time I thought I was doing the righteous thing right. I had prayed about it. I was walking with the Lord is serving a ministry to my books are coming out that summer and so I felt like I was behind my decision and so I think things sort of like whiplash really in the sense that I walked into the decision soberly, prayerfully, spirit filled, and and it took only really days to weeks before I sort of realize, wow, this is not going to be an easy road and I think I didn't really understand the full spectrum of what was happening inside me until months or even years after that and that's sort of how this what the story of fractured faith is the unraveling of my faith that started out of the simple decision to sort of walk away from the church I felt was making some decisions that were questionable at that time which now have proven to be my disc you could see now the rest of the story, but at the time it was several years of walking a very dark tunnel southerly Ronald Wilmot was a process, but it still took a lot of courage to live right.

Look at any say that in the intro. I think it's almost laughable to people who are not committed to church to see the agony that Christians were committed to the Lord at the church go through before leaving a church. Even now, think about it some has in 2021 were limited to covert era. Think church attendance has changed our minds.

But I grew up in the church. I don't remember a time in life was when I wasn't in the church and from the moment I committed my life to the Lord and back dating my teenage years have just been when I went to med school never missed a Sunday any I just had certain convictions in my life.

But church, the body of Christ and then consult call to ministry throughout my life as a doctor, I started working at church.

It was everybody who knew me knew that my life was the church. I didn't get married and felt like really my social fiber my my culture, my life might my policeman convictions everything that I had dreamed and aspire to before the Lord were connected to local church and so it was a huge decision and the ramifications were bigger than I expected them to be. Have you thought about what might have happened if you hadn't lived out well it's played before our eyes.

Many of my close friends since they have walk through that agony and stay I want people early on we would use asked me with a couple years of leaving I and and I'll tell you. I didn't talk about it publicly.

For a while I didn't make any big statements though I was blogging though I had you know it was of sort of a public figure at the time, you know, certainly can, with a smaller platform and whatnot but but still it was a quiet departure and and I and I sometimes what I should've said more not, but there was enough talk going around, I felt convicted by God it wasn't the time to say much and later couple years later as things were playing out and becoming more severe. If I had one regret it was that I didn't leave sooner and it was my lack of courage at the time and night. My desire for things to that was hearing to not be true and also this attachment to my expectations in my life and ministry and calling that were so rooted in the church, but as it played out.

I saw as it had I not left you know I you know the part of me thinks I will never have to leave Falluja was never a situation where I had to leave that the church was so great for so long and I long for the revival is happening. I went to that church is a belief in what was happening there and so does Tina unravel has and continues to be a source of deep pain for anybody who's been in that story or other stores in Chicago or in the United States because it the pain of it is it's the other side of how good it was.

If it wasn't good for so long. We would feel the depth of the pain because it was so good. I think it hurt so much, but as it turned out those who stayed at some point came to find out that the stories were true and things did change, and it was has been and continues to be at least the people I know in the area I'm living in very painful and though the pieces are being picked up noun last year, so there still is so much shrapnel from the church stories that have happened in the Chicago area that you're hard-pressed to go into a local church and not find some people who have no who identify been an attribute to sort of that ramifications of the pain that is happened is all of our city. There's no question that there is an effect that has continued to be felt in our city so obviously a lot of other people feeling similar to yours. Yeah, I mean a loss.

I know) when I agreed to write what you really want planning on writing anymore books book writing has a love and hate relationship for me and a lot I love.

I want to be used by God.

I want to live out my calling but book writing highlights a lot of those things that were that many of the millennial's, and under have criticized in units within the mega church celebrity pastor sort of culture which has been part of the church movement in the United States in the last 10 years or so, and the stories have become very many in the United States of all of the things that happened that we wished were not part of the evangelical structure, which is why people are leaving that but when I remember when when summary from Moody publishers reach out to me to write about Judy Dunnigan is wonderful she have a great idea to write a book, but I was living through this nightmare. But then I had just had just watched a famous Christian claim to be deconstructed. No longer a Christian and he had had a huge impact on people in in his writing earlier in my single years. I read a book of his think was Christians who are familiar with his work probably Artie know who I'm referring to the been very public about leaving the universe, his wife, and then the Christian faith and and and at the time of speaking at a chapel and and I had had this sit in some ways a connection with this person and watching you know it's worth a lick. Even though I was. I had left the faith. I still concern myself very much a Christian, a follower of Jesus, but I knew something internal was happening to me and so watching him sort of walk the other side. I felt like we each week, leaving a quick stop in and and as a result is going to speak at a local chapel here at the University in town and at Judson, and I remember coming up with a title that would initially was reconstructing faith that wanted to speak to that and the wrestling that happens in our school and and and so did Judy had asked me to write a book I sent you the process went on for couple months ended up submitting the proposal getting acceptance to write it and right around then I gave a talk at a conference in town and I was asked to speak about the ruins of what happened to me really honestly it's my first response was like I don't know I just don't really want to revisit this.

This is like six years after the fact and end but I had to write this book so this is in God's timing was so perfect as I remember sort of plan a trip away the dominant went walking on the beach and I said to God, this conversations got them so raw you know and and and now wish we have more of them with the Lord but I remember that the stock to people talk about this anymore and I was still in the sort of done with it known of it. I don't want to deal with it while I came out of that today retreat and give a talk that was the shortest talks and probably one of my more profound talks that connected with people deeply. So the question he asked me was people who who have who have gone through this in the area who have walked through the pain and I cannot tell you the amount of emails and hits that we had on the stock because of its truthfulness. I think it was a moment dry just was like a put it all out there and was my first time really sort of talking honestly about the situation.

It happened, but how that situation had impacted me and my faith and caused that near what I call and when you're collapsed, but word for God's grace and so yes many many many are hurting. I believe that with all my heart. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller "The 5 Love Languages" . If you want to suggest this broadcast to a friend send them to five love they can hear this conversation right there. Our guest is Dr. Lena Abbott JAMA author of the new book fractured faith finding your way back to God in an age of deconstruction again.

Find out more at talk later you write in a quote I measured God's goodness to me by the amount of blessings I was experiencing in my life." Was that thinking wrong. Yeah, I think we also have that internal it's like it's like it when you walking talking hundred percent obedience. But if you're a Christian who is following the Lord, to the best of ability and obedience will have a little sense right now to lose my temper here and there may have about the perfect height generally is trying to live in obedience. I think every Christian has to sort of secret like thought that monkey look good for me right and I think we just like think we understand the depth of that thought that if I do my part God's gonna do his. We live in this contractual basis with God and so is it wrong.

I think Scripture has revealed that the way that we think of it is is not biblical. Like always connect to the story of John the Baptist, who was serving the Lord like nobody's business ends up being imprisoned while Jesus is healing everyone he ends up asking you what year is a crisis of faith, you almost wonder you he T constructed for a minute but course, he ends up losing his does the story does not turn out well for him.

So is it wrong to think that if I follow more things are to work out like I want them to say that's wrong.

I think we have a misunderstanding of what the goodness of God means and I think we idealistic in our in our desire to think that were liquid because you like watching the skinny stuff happened and what I could find was a Christian.

There I die for Jesus. But like I can barely stand the idea that God hasn't provided me the perfect guy or or on and on.

Whatever it is on American dream brain house and so it's a complicated question that once what you want is put to test your view of God is. Is it really puts to his revealed. I say my book elsewhere.

Pain doesn't and it pain exposes your belief in God. It doesn't cause you to displease God, but it just exposes what you believe about God use the term fractured faith. What's the significance of the word fracture. Yeah, we are trying to change the title from reconstructing faith choke that my path could understand that the title the general sense, as you know Home Depot title Michael what is that mean like people are connecting with that and for me it was like I was to be a positive spin on this not as a spin. But as it, in fact, like you can be in the pits and then still somehow your story of faith like like all this was happening in my life that I sum up in this book for a while inside, but I'm still sort of going through the motions, and so and so so so when we started to go to the table with my team and were thinking through what we could name it and find a word accurately felt what I was going through my friend Tina at last, let me know when you finish like a brainstorming can come up with anything, I will sleep on it and right at the end she texted one of the fractured faith and it was like everybody could feel a pin drop. Sort of what felt your fractures are breaks. Bottom line, it another word. I think that you dislocated faith think sometimes we think about our faith has taken a hit. Tina people always think of what's a Friday company Artie think of fracture is different than a break. It's a break in faith.

First you have to have faith in order for it to be fractured and really the book is geared towards people who have been in the faith who are in the faith. Even now, who are probably walking in churches in small groups and watching church and zoom in there just you feel when you select. So is it right there sort of a bend to your faith, the pressure on it. There's pain and I think that's one of what's what I'm trying to convey. And that would fractured and listen.

The good news about a fracture is that it can be healed and I think the hope of the book is that there is healing. When you feel like your faith is just some Koran, but man is it fractured and that's where I was at and in those years. What you think it is leaving the church is so so difficult for so many people we have so much of our Christian identity in the church and think that's necessarily wrong. I think our identity ought to be in Christ first, but I think most Christians and truly fractures in the faith that happen are generally people who walked in faith walk through this dark night of the soul is someone who's a skeptic never believed it's usually someone who's been all linen and things just sort of go, RI, and I think there's such a deep this what what what is the cause of what happened in the church to cause that in the thread that seems to be emerging in the last 5 to 10 years in United States has been related to corruption of some sort and people that we don't expect to be corrupt like intellectually, we know that leaders who become corrupt, but we always think but not my leader because we idolize them for so long and I think that's on second mean that conversation I coming out of where I was a church with a conversation so often, like he knows the person to blame is that members to blame what you know who's to blame. But there is dysfunction. When the person leading the church becomes the head of the church and I think they are. Everybody has to take some account ability that but I think we weave you the church. That's why it hurts one when it's below what you expect Christians. One of the chapters I think a talk but you know is to some Christians are supposed to act and certainly most of us would admit like Christian leaders ought to do better and yet again ending the same breath is almost like the sense that God should church to fixing it. So I think that's the weight of the disappointment to me what just a disappointment in my leaders was a disappointment.

But why church hurt was so hard for me was that on the second side of the coin other side of the coin was this reality that God is your church watch doing something here like felt like it was a turned into a wrestling match, not against the leadership of the church know was deeper than that to me was that deconstructing of my faith. It was that I questioned Claude and where was he in my pain. And why wasn't he defending me and I done anything right instead if I can see what justice is your scene of Lord and I think now in hindsight, it can that's arrogant on my part that on the other hand, it was real and the beauty of God and the awesomeness of cod is that he doesn't look at his children who think like I didn't go yell at your arrogant and your your your pulse mean you can almost sense as I used to fear them what to do with this and his gentleness.

This is, I think the thing that comes up in this book is this father who doesn't leave, how much we give him call us to leave and to me that's the astounding reality that has grown out of the season of darkness that I've been married couples who have handled a hard church situation.

You have talked about a dumb podcast audit done questions about any listen, this is you get a five left love languages of the construction of a great idea. You know it's true. People handle it differently and is something you know there's like it then said in a minute but I think I think one of the biggest struggles and marriages that I see happening in in our era is when one member suffers, there's disagreement in terms of what's happening in a church you see that a lot this conflict in marriage because of that, but then how you handle it the hardest situations are hearing of couples who used to be strong in faith.

And you know the story of the construction can end in one of two ways you can and with still some belief or you can leave the tragedy why this book I think is needed is because we need people to get the points were like I know I'm no longer that and there's who. Now I would ever Christian, Artie still got a come back. We don't know.

But in the moment. They will no longer say I'm a Christian will follow Jesus and we see that in couples happening to me that's wow I mean you come into a marriage thinking this is gonna be one thing and you both on the same page spiritually and now you both. Walking through a deacons in a crisis in the church and one person leaves the faith and the others like why would I do with that. It's hard and so do this is not a singles issue. This is not a married issue.

This is a human being issue and a Christian issue, but it can certainly be divisive from uncle married couple pressure at some point because you were telling the truth about what it happened you're going through.

You were seen as divisive some people to handle it yell no that's hard, especially when mama still in public ministry. I had two books came out the summer. I left and so was the pragmatic side of me that was like a onto one of just a sign that you are a ruined name of Jesus is not to say I can carry that weight and am not like I'm not that important right but there is a sense that you don't want shirts like dirty laundry people is up with all your dirty laundry in and so the weather marriages are within families, or whether churches and so that's like going to ruin the reputation of the Lord in church and whatnot but that is another part where you're like you also, like pragmatic like I'm a minister like I want to ruin that. And on the other hand, you know you you sort of up to protect the sheep so to speak. So what doesn't need to be set doesn't need to be said and yet there's this responsibility of single but but if we know there's danger down a path like why would you let people go down the back things going on in your brain. And I think there has to be some sense and honesty, the Holy Spirit, God's people differently need people thought a lot about wild whistleblowers with their role in all of these things in there's ranges of stories that have come up to you to whistleblowers in the last 5 to 10 years and in that pose a cause of all that, but I was cautious at the beginning I didn't say too much. I don't have any NDA was in any I have a great job. I still do. I don't get paid by the minister, and have a medical job that supports me so far is been free of that. If I was silent at the beginning was out of a sense of respect to the church to the friends I had were still in the church had private conversations with people when one aspect, but when I went that conversation I told you that speech that I did that connected with people even I remember comments coming through the blog that I just had to delete.

You don't get that speech after he was disqualified by the elder board so it was a done deal and I still was seen as a person who potentially was wreaking havoc and I think the things I saw in myself and I and I have acknowledges we fear man. I know it's always been there about like like there's a part and in the deconstruction scenario you question. You look at the things that you've believed about the church about the leaders about your faith and you could have come to terms of these things.

I think there's a truth that unfolds in one of the truths has been you.

I want to be liked and respected by people I really longed for that words of affirmation are my love language so there is so much of yourself that blocks the way of truth to and I think to acknowledge that into care less about what people think. While still loving them that's been and is continuing to be a growth point to me. You know we all want to be liked and we all want to belong and so I can hear one negative comment and it will outweigh hundred positive comments so there's a lot of heart work that gets done in seasons of deconstruction that I think is part of why God allows these painful seasons.

Another topic, quoting the cues and remembering who God really does not who we buried him to be yeah explained how Manny fixed some of my favorite quotes. Actually, that some that's mean, I think we are idol makers in our natural bend, you know, the people of Israel waiting for God on the mountain if seemed to me to fixing up to the 10 plagues and saved every Egyptian lost a son, and here they were due were set free to saw the waters parted the Red Sea and now they can't wait 40 days and we just make a little like an idea of who called should be an end of the scene. All of these things about the Lord like my life has been full of the goodness of God and of the blessings of God, but I still have a list of what I think I want my God to do for me and it centers around me being on the throne of my life, and no matter how you parse it.

I think we also have that propensity and it is God's grace that opens our eyes to and keeps us from falling, that God could argue you could have a loved on to decide not to buy it by the way chapter in my book talks about desires and longings. This is where we get stuck we just think what God gave me desire to get to fulfill the now we want to come to God with this idea of what fulfilling the desire looks like it's again we take this God who spoke the world into existence, who is his you write all of his legs up, so to speak and in and week we sort of did this box of Lena's desires and world doesn't do exactly what I think you should do all this unlike a myth that you Lord and I can't believe you're doing is we lose this ability to see the grandeur of God doesn't care about those desires. No, but that he soon deeply that if you could just trust him to let the story play out. You would eventually see that and listen. Speaking as one. I mean those little faith crises happens all the time as a daily conversation me to be having ourselves and with God to get the Israelites and to go back to that example Janice in Exodus, I think 32-ish amigo back that the last time they had a crisis of faith even though 32,000 people thought a big matter of days before they had another crisis of faith or to question who God is. Thanks and couldn't get it into their thick heads and and if I have a prayer for myself.

And if anyone is listening, who tends to be like me where you just look frustrated with God because is your life isn't always what you wanted to be or think it would be your UNR Hollywood version of this world think it should be. Now I would urge you to to admit that to God annoyed forever ice to be afraid that if God saw that mean we have a fear of God. But we don't understand what that really means.

And so our fear of God. What we were afraid God will sort of find out that we think those things so we hide them from him or we think we do, which is for tonight's yard.

He sees that were thinking those things about him. So to acknowledge it to come humbly sick.

I'm really struggling desire. I have I don't see it played out, and I thought you would do this and I'm not getting it in the having these open authentic conversations with God and standing in your touchup and I mean you you you do this for a living.

But like I've had to get some help and I've had to talk with the therapist through some of those things to be able to vocalize. Maybe some of the angst that was internal I'm an ER doctor and trained to to compartmentalize to ignore to disorder shelf emotions in a bucket, so might my you know my healing and deconstruction of Phil were left to me would be like shut on a box and hide it and will talk about and it doesn't work this way right doesn't get you end up exhausted and disappointed and frustrated, and disillusioned.

Not just in that church, but in the ward where is God wants to open up those boxes that we shoved in our hearts and deal with them and heal them and go back to tax. What graces is his willingness just to ignore those boxes but to bring them to the place where we can heal inside and out. You're listening to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller "The 5 Love Languages" were talking with author and speaker Dr. Lena Abby Jammer. Her new book is our featured resource today.

It's titled fractured faith finding your way back to God in an age of deconstruction to find out more go to five love that's five love Berkeley others conversation courses dealing with some real emotions in the book you talk about. There are people who are Christians, we are going through through the motions were reading their Bibles were going to church but inside there becoming no and shriveling inside. If someone listening is going through the what do you say someone I think it's many people I admit the church is been a big part of my life and I continue by the way, I continue to be part of a local church I'm in a small church plant now call Carlson from Whittier radios. I faster love him.

He's been part of the story of my healing him and his wife. We can talk about that in a few minutes if you like, but but but I am convinced I would reiterate this book is really written with with those people at heart.

I think my friends whose millennial kids have deconstructed and did no longer see themselves a Christian not directly connect with the book.

I don't know if they would are not. I think they might be too far out in a sense, use different means to get those people attention unit or heartstrings.

Whatever, however you want to talk about connecting with people but really my experience in the churches that were all good at faking it. We really are. I think we show up and we played a game and sometimes we don't even notice what faking it for that 45 minutes on Sunday are in our sunny when I even feel good in that moment, but then we go back in and by the way, I can foresee that I was writing the book. This extended covert season. I started writing a drink over it and I don't think anyone knew how this would play out. And here we are now your half later still dealing with covert now zoom is no longer, you know that stock price of of zoom is probably stabilized.

We are all very similar zoom now I don't think anyone is is is is in you be to sue my seven-year-old nephew can run a zoom room and better than I can. And so I think church has evolved, and in many Christians lives. You know, we went from this season. Prolonged season where we didn't have a church to go to in Chicago. Our churches are a little bit more on the RR status is much more restrictive but but but church attendance changed and then because zoom was available. Now most churches are offering a zoom services so even before the skills we developed a high in the fiber of the church. We need them anymore just put the zoom out and hide the video with so many ways that you can hide now like it's it's amazing to me how Christians have lied to ourselves or even like to others even think we do a deceptively I think we do it in an effort to most of us have the wit to deal with some of that negative emotion so I think sometimes this is exactly why God has to bring it to the head infection that hasn't come out and obsesses and want to gross listeners out but there's a point where it can be popped to compare to visit you. But there's a long time.

The worst zits are the ones that you can't pop right away you watch and hurt and there there many Christians are like that.

They show up to go through the motions. I think even we open our Bibles try to read them every day and get nothing out of it and and and don't know why. And we just keep going day after day after day thinking at some point I want that breakthrough that that guy on Instagram with multimillion followers has. Why do I not have it. And at some point something to you around the bend that sends you down path of deconstruction because you just I think your soul isn't supposed to live in this kind of unhappy survival mode in Christ.

I really think God is more interested in getting to the root of these infections into letting us meagerly survive in some kind of faade of okay. I do believe that Jesus says he is going to give us an abundant life, and so many of us settle for less, and God's grace is that he doesn't allow us to settle for less, and he does it through pain. In many ways up, or simply going through the motions just like any other religion right yes yes exactly, and so what what difference is no living God. That's any other friend.

Her name is Troy and it describes her in this woman has. She's older than I am and I'm not young anymore and she's been through a lot.

You would never know it. She's not growing up in Lebanon. These missionaries with comedy when one missionary couple.

They were like 80 when I met them there now passed on to glory but answered forever in Cambodia before coming to Beirut-it's like some of the worst conditions during the 70s and 80s.

I mean and mean. You are Christians. They were seeping joy out of their pores just don't think we've of culture has become so cynical and independent and you know it's think we like what we are told that this is how we should be united that we know how to transition into a church and so I think the euro, but we know that were supposed to be there and so we keep showing up.

We think will find them again. You go back to the contractual if I remember every day and God cannot give me the things that I want to work on this vicious cycle of religion and until we can step out of it and get back to intimacy and authenticity with Jesus. I think that's weird that's were joyous. The book, but instead of coming to God with expectations, we should come to God with our longings. Yeah, yeah, I spent a lot of time on the section Elm is funny.

You know it is a single person. I spent a long time and you not unite ducks haven't talked and Chris by the way, both of us have talked a lot about singleness with my book thrive in a sort of had a big part of the ministry spent in that one of the biggest versus you know what that single people get stumbling over is like if you delight yourself in the Lord.

He'll give you the desires of your heart and and so I always chuckle because that's like the singles lie first truth is that we also have that that you think we the question that many's cynical singles or or singles who have felt like they've been given something didn't deserve to get caught up in that verse and so we know we we put it. Yeah, I can't tell you how many times I've heard this well it's because God is change your desires like we have so many ways to to try to explain away God's word that bothers me when I see you happening far too honest in 2021 to go for like some explanation of why does it mean to make you some Bible for summer content to go back to the word roots it like this discussion between joy and happiness like Catholic happiness is the basis of consensus joy is based in reality like get those things. But A person who's hurting the person whose desires are not fulfilled and I think you have to go deeper so I spent almost in a chapter writing address in two or three chapters, one chapter I talk about sin, which sort of Uruguay, sending a book about the construction well because they're sort of tied in. When we start living a space where we want deeply hasn't happened.

We have to conclude that our desires are wrong or that God is mean because he hasn't fulfilled them disorder get toxic. What is the difference between a desire, a longing and an expectation and I think it's the expectation part that gets us in trouble and so I think if if if you have a desire and elicits a sinful desire me again that's addressed in the booklet but the difference with the desires of value pivots are to kill someone like that's not from caught the largest are good desires to get us in trouble and where. Where does the line go from being just a good desire to being something that's destroying us and an end to what we can move into place. Where will now we no longer see that desire is like it's me and my desire against God. To know God has actually allowed the design is a reason for it and I think it's those very unmet desires that ultimately I genuinely believe are ultimately the key to deepening our intimacy with the Lord would use the word deconstruction in the book you actually have a big construction diagram yeah first world this Clairvaux. Again, what you mean brother word deconstructing and then going to walk us through the yeah my friend Karen Pryor has a great article that came out that I think is the best cheap chic came out in August 2020, 21 that I think she defines it in the best way I found that and that's all I'll just quote her and cheat sheet and then on top of the diagram for a second and why I created the diagram so basically she says that deconstruction essentially describes what happens when a person asks questions that lead to the careful dismantling of their previous beliefs.

Something happens and you start to wonder is what now that doesn't mean W, the existence of God.

Always it can be died, believe that that the church that for me.

That situation was with the church. Or maybe your singleness or remarriage of the go `there's something happens like that set you off to start. Ask questions. Questions that might be harder then can be answered in a 45 minute sermon which, if that's the only forum in one of the critiques of of you know the type of church style. The consumerist church that the American culture has wanted in the last few years is that we literally show up and we want those 45 minute injection. It's like people go for IV fluid injection. As you know their tired and want to just pop in and IV give me vitamin B12 influence.

I'll be fine for a while, that's only one in church and unfortunately you know that's the self-sustaining and so over time. When questions happen well for pastor. He's got 45 minutes to to boost in the arm. He can't express all of your questions. If you're counting on the 45 minutes to answer those questions you leave with some disappointment's structure has become a term that's used in a wide array of ways and so you'll hear a lot of people talk about deconstructing from edge conversion from exits and outcomes of expansion articles become a new thing in the longer an evangelical Me, but that's one description of it and and many people who go down that lane and up either same one though not no longer a Christian or an you know they might change into a different style of Christian practice out there others who end up coming back to face and so like St. John of the crosses I don't know that he and he's dead long dead he's a writer from back in the day, but but he writes about a book that will he's what well known for the dark night of the soul, and so now looking back you want deconstructing to me for looking at some of the questions that he might've had during the seas were God felt very far away. Everything he believes about God was put to test and and and then he landed on faith. He wrote about in that book that he's written has impacted many many people over the years and and so I think what I was trying to put words around feelings but that's the bulk of what I do in this book. I really think I walk through a painful experience, and one of the biggest comments that have gone from people have read it has been that many write exactly what I was feeling that's what writers tend to do that's that's what writers are supposed is its biggest complement that I can get answers, painful as it is when you can put words to feelings people can go. Yeah, I see that instruction diagram was sort of think of these esoteric ideas of longing, of feelings of doubt of numbing them in some schematic that would help people think thought is the constructibility look at this chart may stay on this path of disappointment said you have been at least disappointment, then at least doubt she can walk through dusty construction diagram which starts in one lane and then moves into two lanes and the two lanes are either disbelieved unbelief or eventual reconstruction and faith and by God's grace I have landed in that reconstruction if and faith. And I believe every follower of Jesus who is called by God will end up there as the road may be detoured, but I think that chart. If anything, people should buy the book for that chart because I think you can then diagnose yourself. There's no every probation.

I talked it out on the phone. I did telehealth and garlic. While you will is that web MD and here's what we found what this is like a web MD of spiritual symptoms and see where you are and in the facet of that and and then go to God proof that the healer, the perfect physician who longs to heal you and by the way, you'll have to go to him because the minute you start asking these questions, you can sense his presence because he squeezed he's there.

He knows it now, and OnStar that he's allowed you to listen to this now because he's been trying to speak to you in many ways but maybe you've been too stuck in your pain like I was for so long to hear clearly. And so when God gives you an answer on a platter and take it because those are moments that become life-changing in your path towards him. Thanks for joining us for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman and thanks for telling a friend about the program. If you know someone who would benefit from today's conversation. Send them to find love where they can hear this discussion with Dr. Lena Abba JAMA he's the author of our featured resource fractured faith finding your way back to God in an age of deconstruction. Find out more at percolator we been talking about church hurt you think that many others the deconstruction or the disappointment in the move toward her drawing button only from the church before God reflected many times it is stimulated by hurt that is seen in the church right now. I would say for sure you eat a biblically you look at move the New Testament is only part of the Bible so you can look at the people of God. In general, but like the you know how much of of the problems in in the modern day church art related to local church issues and we know there were local church issues in in the New Testament of plentiful Paul addresses them on more than one occasion talking one of the chapters about some of the demise of some of the Christians faith in in the word of God, but I think I think right now and find all those biblical examples and and potentials and yes I think right now and 2021. We are living in an era that would push it even more. I don't even think it's just church hurt church hurt causes a Christian to leave here and a Christian to leave their right coming back. We were in the 80s we had a family you know we would my family was a church and we ended up leaving one church for another crisis time. You know there's a lot of factors we had been come from the United States from Lebanon to the United States recently has that story, but what I think is different in 2021, and what I think is your question is, is there a movement now away from the church due to hurt related to church and I would say absolutely.

Furthermore, I would point the finger leaders. I think leaders have taken big falls that has affected the next generation because it has been a lack of willingness recently at any last couple years with more work for answers. I think one of the gifts of these conversations and social media is as hard as these conversations are day must be had because there was anyone on their 30s, asking the questions and are looking at leaders. Now everything is public so there's no longer he can hide something somewhere in a corner and nobody knows about it.

Now it's public knowledge is at her house to be a change in the way that we view leadership and the way that we live our life as leaders and not listen, I'm speaking to myself to like it is.

I know that it's good to be a harder road to walk your leader but I think we need we need to take some account ability to say look, if you are a leader in non-Christian movements and in the church. We gotta step it up now and cut or or or or and and is my pastor would say get on our knees and show that the way we step up as Christians is to us to get lower and lower in humbler and humbler and so I would say yes a lot of hurt right now and and departure from churches related to wounds at the hands of the church but more so, and by the way, church and parachurch organizations, and I would even pointed to leadership failure leadership there is is is is is really a leading cause of the pain that will go through right now in this era, the Lord of all that we been through what is usually heartening in the church as we move forward one of two things right. We know it's not gonna stop think that's a promise from work. The word of God and Christians always say that. Here's part of it like yeah but I really believe, like the churches of the bride of Christ is not going anywhere. Now it might change the ethics you seen in other countries, like a travel enough to know that there's different flavors of church exams underground, some as you know, some as it gets really small in some areas and grows in others, but but the other side of it and I think why people are still fighting for this thing. Why does a book like this come out why my here talk about that semi-frightening. It's easy to just watch assumed the rest of my life church, but that doesn't work. That leaves you hungry, God has created us in need of a fellowship and community and each other like it just doesn't work. It's God's idea of the church isn't to watch it on TV what he could possibly put in a comment and maybe if you're lucky. No multitasking find me three church members were multitasking watching the zip and so so the help and why we fight is that it could be the seed of revival and I really long for that that all the pain all the examples all the questions all the things we do to no more pain all the disappointment and disillusionment darkness of the soul can be put in the buckets and weighed against the grace of God and his grace of God is so much heavier and weightier that we would say man. I know I know and I know it's a long hard road test but with Esq. wrote afterward in my book and his summary of saying, look, here's what I know attended a day there is a God who loves me so so deeply and I don't get it.

I can't explain it, and I still like to see the darkness of my own heart and I see where I've been and will fund go to go there again, not the plans on deconstructing but yet it was a tender hand of the father was unwilling to ever let go.

To me, you really understand that you on your way to revival. I think that's all we need in our country right now does God use our failures to redirect her callings were going through something like you talked about Pinto's house that been true in your own life. Yeah, you know every junction in my life when I thought I'm done man my calling my life what it what I asked, tired to be for the Lord my dreams for God are gone unlimited first big time that happened.

I was broken my engagement and and just wasn't sure what I would do with my life and I you know much about that in my first book drive in and out of that woundedness in pain. Then it was my minor deconstruction. My minor crisis of faith. In hindsight, compared to the last one I had.

But I remember audit that was born my call to teach the Bible. I had never taught enough and that it was the healing that got brought in that time. That sort of. There was space for movement of God to sort of take me from the fact that I was so intent on going to do you want and then when this last event happened in it and again, I'm not talking about little questions you have the big events were crises were just wondering man. How did my life and that the space of this last time. I should know that God has a way of appearing in in the darkness of our nights, but your memories are so weak and so everyone here after I left.

I didn't know what I was going to do because I put God in this box of well II do women's ministry as speaker church is not right, Bible studies, and this is is this is what it looks like to serve God and creativity to step out of that and I was practicing medicine. I thought on what else to do, so I thought it was done and it was in when we fail is when we can finally specially by the way, I was to say is to see when you're running at my pace but I think the American piece is so focused and so works oriented and so results oriented all of us, even the people who stand on that of type B personality type unit and relayed back know we all have a true goodness in us until we fail, we never get off that highway we can stop and say okay got him out of an amount I can't do this like I need an idea space was when God invited me to people to go to Don and I ended up starting to do medical mission trips there and now it's been about six years our global ministry is flourishing in Lebanon.

We've got to medical clinics would run on the ground. We support monthly thousands of people and humanitarian needs both Syrian refugees and other Lebanese people with any of our ministries to many peoples known as a global ministry rather than a Bible teaching ministry with you both and so that has been a fruit of my failure.

And if that's the case.

If you see these patterns happen I would say as much as I hated God if this is what you can birth out of failure and let the failure come as long as you are in control of my life in it. If we run to God rather than running away from God in the midst of the plane will fund it right you know it will found not only if we I think sometimes and this is the case with getting to the end here, but I would say for the persons listening who doesn't have the energy to run to God doesn't need us to do a whole lot of running off just enough just a little.

Yes I whispered it says God I want to. That's what I want just and you'll find that he's already running to you. This conversation is been very closely moving from sure that our listeners who have gone through similar experiences like this think this book is going to help a lot of people who are trying to work through the disappointment experienced in various aspects of the church, sometimes attributing you for being with you for having so much we didn't get to program but if you like to find out more about Jim Fay. Anyway, back to God. In construction books.find out more about next week are some abreast of series continues with the program for St. Christian before we go. Let me think our connection with Janice Todd building relationship with Dr. Gary Chapman's production radio fusion with publishers ministry by

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