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Blessed Are The Misfits: Brant Hansen

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
December 20, 2023 5:15 am

Blessed Are The Misfits: Brant Hansen

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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December 20, 2023 5:15 am

If you've ever felt like you don't fit into American church culture... Brant Hansen has been there, too. Join Hansen as he explores modern Christianity, the beauty of being different, and the astonishing goodness of God. Rediscover Jesus' true love with us.

Show Notes and Resources

Connect with Brant Hansen and catch more of their thoughts at branthansen.com

Find him on social media on Insta, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

And grab Brant Hansen's book, Blessed Are the Misfits: Great News for Believers Who Are Introverts, Spiritual Strugglers, Or Just Feel Like They're Missing Something

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I don't know about you, but I am glad I'm not parenting kids today. I mean, we have kids, but they're not younger.

I mean, I've said that many times. It's scary. We thought it was scary 40 years ago.

I think it's 10 times harder today. We have a generation walking away from their faith. We raised them in the church. We raised them to believe and then they hit teenage years and beyond and they walk away in numbers.

You talk about scary. Parents are petrified right now. How do we help our kids? Are you feeling this as I am today of the urgency to get biblical principles and help to our families? Because this is what we're about. We have faithful givers that gave 40 years ago because we thought this is so important. Well, it's even more important now. Let me tell you, we cannot lose this battle.

Yes. And every day we get to speak life and the Word of God. Actually, we get to bring Jesus to your family and bring hope to give you practical tools to help your kids and our kids be strong adults for Jesus. And that doesn't happen without you joining us in prayer and joining us as a financial partner. I know everybody's asking for money at this time of year. We are saying, help us not lose this battle.

Yeah. Let's win and help us keep bringing life and the Word of God to your family so that you can win and your family can win. Join us today. Your dollar will be doubled and this is a battle we will not lose and you can help us win it.

And so you can go to familylifetoday.com right now and make a gift. Join us in this battle. It matters. The truth is the truth, whether I feel it or not. The truth is the truth, whether you feel it or not. Your feelings do not determine reality.

And you can see where our whole culture actually buys into this idea that our feelings actually determine reality. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Shelby Abbott and your hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson.

You can find us at familylifetoday.com. This is Family Life Today. All right, let me read you the opening paragraph of a book that I think you'll relate to.

It starts this way. You know that feeling when God is right there, this close, and you can just feel his loving arms around you and you can literally hear his voice whispering in your ear, telling you how much he loves you. I don't. I never have. What did you think when you read those words? I thought, this guy feels what I feel.

I'm not kidding. I don't think you feel that. No, I read that and I thought, no, I can't imagine what that would be like because I do feel him all the time. But when I read it, I thought, Dave is totally relating to this. Yeah, and I've often felt like I'm less spiritual or there's something wrong with me because my wife doesn't feel this way. My son doesn't feel this way, but I do. So often I felt like I just keep that quiet.

I don't say it out loud. So I always thought, I wish we could have the author of that paragraph in the studio. We got Brant Hansen.

Because he wrote those words. Yeah, from a book called Blessed are the Misfits. Brant, welcome back. Thank you. It's cool to hear people talk about that.

Really? Yeah, because there's not much space in church culture, I think, to talk about that. And I asked this question one time when I was talking at a big church and they had the worship music and all this stuff and it was well done.

Big theater environment. And I asked, does anybody feel like you're missing something when everybody else has their arms upraised? There's a big emotional moment. Like maybe you're not feeling it, but I think about half of the people raised their hand. Really?

And they all looked around. It's like, that's a lot of us. Yeah.

And you are kind of made to feel like, maybe unintentionally, maybe I'm just not spiritual. Exactly. Yeah.

I'm wondering, did that church invite you back? You know what? They're very tolerant.

So yes, they did. And they like just the honesty. And I just wanted to be honest about that because like there's nothing wrong with that.

But if we think spirituality is emotion, we're in trouble because we're not all cut out of the same cloth. And it's not strictly a man versus woman thing. One of the couples that came up to me immediately afterward was a woman with her husband. And she said, I'm so glad to hear you say that.

She said, I'm an engineer and I'm very analytical and my husband is very emotive. And I've always thought I'm missing something because his spiritual life looks so different. And he expects that from me, but that's just not who I am. I think I judged Dave for years when we were first married thinking, what's his problem?

Is he not connected to Jesus? Not realizing we're all made in such a different way. I don't judge anymore, but I think we can judge one another. Have you guys ever judged the people that are very emotive or very?

Oh yeah. You have? I mean, in some ways there's judgment. Like, is there a show going on beside me? But the other side is I can't feel what they're feeling. Why do they feel something that I can't feel? So I feel less than. Like that's what I should be feeling and doing. And I'm not saying I don't sometimes raise my hands and be emotional because I do. But there are times where I feel less than because I'm not experiencing the same thing.

It looks like they're experiencing. Okay. So that's why I wanted to write the book. I think it's very freeing when we realized that, wait a second. That's not actually spirituality. Spirituality is not emotion. It's faithfulness. It's faithfulness.

I can do that. But what happens is you wind up judging yourself sometimes if you're cut out of this cloth. There are so many people who are listening right now that can relate to this. Where maybe they know people who've lost their faith. It just feels like a show to me. It feels like an emotion based thing.

They're thinking analytically. Why do we do it this way? Or like with me as a teenager or a young adult, like maybe God's given up on me. Maybe I'm not having that experience everybody else is having.

I'm not hearing his audible voice speaking to me or wrapping his arms around me because I'm such a sinner. There's something wrong with me. Yeah. And it makes you eventually walk away frustrated. Like I don't get it.

I don't get it. But what he's really looking for is loyalty. Yeah. Obedience. Obedience. Faithfulness. Right.

So I can do that. There's not much. If you try to find Jesus talking about, here's how to have the right emotions, you're not going to find it. But again, the person who keeps showing up faithfully and walking with God and communicating with him, even if he doesn't feel it, even if she does not feel it, but you still talk to him, that's being faithful.

I mean, in some ways, when you say that, Bran, I'm like, again, I'm going to exaggerate, but it feels like it's more faithful. It's like if I'm loving Anne in a marriage relationship and I don't feel it anymore, which many married couples are going, that's where I am right now. I don't feel it. A lot of us go through that. Yeah. I mean, it's part of marriage. It's part of relationship. Yes. It's part of emotions as human beings. Our emotions change sometimes based on factors that have nothing to do with us. Yeah. But when people say, I fell out of love, sometimes I think, well, of course you did. Right. That's not what love is. Right. So if you try to manufacture these experiences that give you goosebumps and you equate that with spirituality, well, the people who don't get goosebumps, I guess they're not spiritual. Or if I can't do it, maybe your relationship with God has changed and matured in a new way where you needed that earlier on in your relationship with God.

You really did. And it was a gift. But now there's a new maturity, just like the marriage relationship.

That's relationship. Like at first, all these feelings, but then I even mentioned this in the book, as I was writing, my wife and I had had some argument about something. It was just tense. Not a big deal, but it was tense. And I hear her voice from the kitchen.

She's like, you want some tea? And I knew she wasn't feeling any warmth towards me whatsoever. But to your point, that's very glorifying to God if you don't get the reward of the emotion. The emotions are fine, but you know what? That's called love when you do it and you don't get a reward out of it. I think that's God's love language, in fact, is when we do it just because He's good and He deserves my loyalty and I need to obey Him. My emotions may come and go.

And this goes for people like you. And you may be more emotional in your relationship with God, but there's probably sometimes you go through a trough. Oh, yeah.

It's dry. Yeah. It doesn't mean you did something wrong.

Right. But I do get introspective and think, Lord, did I do something? Did I sin? Where are you?

Are you still close? David felt like that in the Psalms. Where are you, God?

Yeah. Well, and he also had to speak truth to himself when he was feeling down. Why are you so downcast on my soul? Put your trust in God. And he finishes Psalms where he's down and downcast with reminding himself repeatedly of what's true. So for somebody like me who doesn't feel this, I still know what's true. I still have to put my mind on what's true and what's noble and what's right and what's pure and lovely and admirable and praiseworthy and excellent.

And I have to remind myself that God hasn't left me. All of scripture repeatedly, I'm with you. I'm with you.

I'm with you. Why would he have to say that if we were going to feel him around all the time? Why is it a hundred times in the scripture? He must have anticipated that we're going to feel like he's not there sometimes. Now, when you speak at church or anywhere, every day you're on the Brant and Sherry podcast. Yeah.

Your podcast. I'm guessing you talk about this a little bit there. Yeah. But when you speak about this, because not a lot of people talk like this. Right.

Blessed are the misfits. Or even like the subtitle, great news for believers who are introverts, spiritual strugglers, or just feel like they're missing something. Yeah. I think people would read that and think, yes. Well, that's why I wonder, is there a line afterwards, line of people going, can we talk?

Nobody says this. Yes. And in fact, I did a radio interview about it and I've never had this happen, but I've talked about this very thing. And so the host was wonderful. She was great. She has a lot of great questions. And I was like, well, thanks for the, you know, we talked right after coming off her show.

Thanks so much. She's like, hang on, can you hang on for a second? My producer wants to talk to you. It was a young woman who's married. She was in tears. She said, I have never been emotionally moved by an interview before, but you're talking about my husband. And I thought there was something wrong with him. And now I know it's not. Wow.

That's what he's been telling me. Different things trigger different people, right? Like there's certain things for me that like, I can't talk about my kids growing up without getting, you know, weepy.

But generally speaking, just church stuff. I don't feel God around necessarily, but I know he's there. The truth is the truth, whether I feel it or not. The truth is the truth, whether you feel it or not. Your feelings do not determine reality. And you can see where our whole culture actually buys into this idea that our feelings actually determine reality.

Oh, yeah. But that seeps into evangelical culture too and church culture. It's like, this is not true. It feels like in different eras, emotions and analytical thinking are swaying and they're all going back and forth. I feel like we're in a more emotive kind of, you do think that.

Absolutely. Whereas maybe my grandparents, you know, they weren't crying and they weren't. The question is why? Why do you think that culture is like that now? I think the conceit of the human being is that we're hyper-rational. We all think we're super rational. The truth is most of the time we use our rationality to back up what our emotions are telling us. So still the emotion is leading us places. But I think if you reject the idea of transcendent truth, we're all just left with our feelings.

So that wins the day. I also think that we're so used to shopping. We're so consumeristic. And I'm very thankful for the products that are at our fingertips, but we're used to choosing everything.

So why can't I just choose my reality? My desires are always catered to, so my desire has to be transcendent. So I think that's a big part of it. Just the loss of hope in God. So you think a lot of that's creeped into the church in our faith? Yeah, I mean, that's overtly what church has tried to do too, right?

Is like recreate this rock concert experience in some cases or recreate a motivational speaker. Like, I understand it. Yeah. I get the thinking. But that's not going to speak to everybody.

In fact, I don't think it speaks to the majority of people who are looking for something more. Yeah. And I'm very thankful to realize this because it means I can participate too. I can walk with God. I can talk to him even if I don't feel it.

It's okay. And sure enough, he answers my prayers in different ways. And I see that faithfulness from his side. So it's very freeing to realize this. Let me ask you because Dave has said the same thing from the pulpit. He would say he's very skeptical by nature. Yeah. And soon as he says that, I can see certain people just have a sigh of relief.

Like, wait, is that okay? You're a pastor and you can still be skeptical? You've said the same thing. Where does that come from? Well, it's funny because being on the radio, I'll have people that hear me say something like, well, brother, you just need to trust God. You have no idea who my story is. I think some of us are born dissenters. We're born analysts, right?

We question everything. Well, you got to tell us your story now. Well, yeah. My dad was a pastor and I got Bible, Bible, Bible preaching.

He's a good speaker, you know, charismatic presence, talented. And also our home life was traumatic. Like terrifying. I was scared for my life.

Then I would go to church and hear more preaching and more preaching, more preaching. And this is the same guy that's terrorizing us. And I feel like we're not safe. Eventually they got divorced, remarried. My mom just wanted to make it work. Divorced again. I just grew up scared.

So if somebody's like, brother, you just need to like, man, at least I'm here. Based on all you've gone through. Right. So allow me the skepticism.

As it turns out, the skepticism for me has chased me back to Jesus. Because he's actually the one that calls out this human nature. That would explain my dad or explain me at times.

Explain. And he actually does something about it. Who else anywhere acknowledges human brokenness and actually does something about it? Most everybody else wants to deny human brokenness in spite of all that we can see that's so obvious. We know. Everybody knows. We're messed up. But then actually call it out and do something about it.

Like, where else do I go for that? I mean, is that what kept you in the faith? Because you hear that story and you think, I mean, eight out of 10 people would walk away.

Yes. Honestly, I'm so skeptical. I'm not exaggerating. I mention this in the book, too. But I used to do talk radio. I interviewed a guy who was the founder of Skeptic magazine. Oh yeah, he said that in the book. Yeah, the American Humanist Association president at the time.

Did you read this part? He said, no. We would debate stuff. And I would ask him questions, like, counter asking this person, like, where does his logic come from?

Yeah. And he, to his credit, he was a kind guy. He was just like, I got to admit, you're actually more skeptical than I am. This guy's the founder of Skeptic magazine. He's like the president of Skeptic.

Give us an example of a conversation you might have. Well, about the idea, like, we can only have science to know reality. Like, well, how is that a falsifiable statement? Because science itself, you have a scientific method. You have to have a falsifiable hypothesis. I said, what you're saying is philosophical. It's not scientific at all. What's your basis for that philosophy?

And that's like, well, you'd make a valid point. I'm legitimately asking these questions, but honestly, I don't think, there are so many people who don't believe in God. Now, the record, according to Gallup recently, that say they don't believe in God. I actually think they do believe in God. Really? Yep. Because what they do gives them a way.

Which is? Well, they'll appeal to standards of fairness. They believe that love is more than just chemistry, you know, bouncing around your brain, electrical impulses. They act like things actually matter, but without God, without any meaning, we got to admit, it really is meaningless, right? And why not just power? It's like Nietzsche. Nietzsche was right. He at least called it out. Like, it's just all about power then.

Whatever we want to do. But people don't want to say that because they actually deep down know. And so Paul even talked about that in Romans.

He says men suppress their knowledge of God. It's readily available. We can see it everywhere. We know it. Then they'll catch themselves.

I heard Chris Martin from Coldplay just saying about something. It's like, well, I thank God. I mean, I thank the universe that that happened. I mean, we have to keep telling ourselves. It's human. We do a thing called denial. We know it at some level and we want to suppress it. But when I see people doing that, it reinforces my faith. Because you see that a lot of this, we think these people are so smart because they doubt. But doubt doesn't make you smart. That's a modern lie. For somebody who's analytical, I'm chased back around to Jesus.

The alternatives don't make sense to me. Jesus himself is so compelling and he is medicinal for somebody like me. Just read the Gospels.

He's like the only guy that makes any sense. Now, when you think about your faith. Because I was trying to relate it again to marriage and your marriage with Carolyn. I mean, do you feel loved by God? Like you do in your marriage? Or is that not part of it? This is not discouraging, I hope. But no, I don't feel that.

Is it any different than your marriage? Yeah, Carolyn's right there. I feel compassion for her sometimes. I'm rooting for her. She's right there in my care and she loves me. It's so obvious.

It's so tangible. It's hard for me to know how to translate that to God. I'm not trying to be discouraging at all. That is a struggle for me. However, when I visit, like I work with these hospitals internationally.

I get to visit the ORs and I get to be with the kids and see how God prioritizes these people. I feel that. Maybe I'm broken for whatever reason. Maybe it's from my past or whatever.

My own dad stuff. But I know He loves me. I know it. As I know gravity. I think we can know that.

That's what I was getting at. Because I know Anne loves me. She shows me all the time.

If there was a book written about her love for me, it would, just like the Bible, I know it. And I know God loves me as well. Most of the time I don't feel it. I mean, not most of the time, but it isn't an emotional, affectionate feeling that I have. There are moments, but most of the time it's based on truth. And I feel the same thing for Anne. There are moments where I feel her love for me, but it doesn't matter.

I know she's committed to me and loves me, and that's enough. Does that make sense? Well, let me ask you this. Do you ever feel like God doesn't love you? No.

Do you? I honestly, I mean, early in my Christian walk, I didn't know the word. I didn't know truth, and so I questioned it. But over now 40 years of walking with him, I'm like, no, he loves me. Even in my worst moments, where he shouldn't. I am absolutely convinced the truth of the word of God says he loves me, and I know it. And I'm secure in that.

There is a sense of security. Each morning I try to do Psalm 23 while I'm walking the dog, out loud. Lord is my shepherd.

I lack nothing. It starts. That's a strong place to start. And I've seen him answer prayers. And I've seen him in ways that are utterly inexplicable. If I was just going at it from scientific coincidental odds, that's crazy. I hearken back to those things.

I made a list in my head the other day, like three of those things that happened. And there's no explaining that. I know. But the feeling thing, if someone's listening and they're alarmed, well, I'm letting you into my head. It's a vulnerable thing, and into my heart. But I'm very thankful for the grace of God that lets us all into this kingdom, with our own hobbled whatever.

And should it happen, if you're alarmed, but then maybe in a year or two, you go through a long, dark night of the soul, where you keep pursuing God. But you don't have those old feelings like you used to. You're still there, still loves you. He hasn't changed.

It's okay. That's a really secure place to be, even if you don't have the in-love feelings. I think when I was younger, too, I would feel like God loved me or didn't love me based on my actions or lack of obedience. I think that's why the word is so important. I love that you're quoting and you're memorizing and saying out loud Psalm 23. Because sometimes we have to remind ourselves over and over, and that's what God's Word does.

That's what other people do. That's why we can't do it alone. Because there's an enemy of the soul who will tell us the opposite. You're a failure. God doesn't love you. You don't know God. If you aren't experiencing Him or feeling Him, you must not be a follower. So, I agree.

I think that's really important. I also thought it was so fascinating for you, Brandt, as you were reading the word and you would say, we are aliens. You're like, yes, this is what I'm feeling.

Was that back when you were a new follower and you're reading the Bible? Honestly, it's always appealed to me. It's appealed to you? It's appealed to me that we're aliens and strangers. I already feel that way.

So, that's a nice place for me to be. Culturally, I've always felt like, and some people are like this, too. You're more of an observer than a participant.

Even social stuff in high school. You've always felt like a misfit. Yeah, I've always felt like a misfit. So, we get a leg up on everybody else in this aliens and strangers thing. We know what that's like. I'm not afraid of that. I'll be the oddball.

It's okay. And you know what's wonderful? Talking about this in book form, when people come out of the woodwork, and I'm like, that's me, too. That's my son. That's my husband. That's my daughter. You do feel more like you're part of the family.

That's very helpful. And to have other people say, you're right. Even at this point in my life, we need to hear things over and over and over and over and over.

And you keep having to go back to that. And that's why I'm saying like in the Bible that he would say, Fear not. I am with you. I will help you. I will strengthen you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. I will not. I am with you. Be strong and courageous.

I'm going with you wherever you go. Over and over. If we all felt 100% that he's right there, why would he have to say that over and over? He's doing this because he loves us. That alone tells me he loves us. He must know me for him to say that over and over. He must be patient with people like me. So if somebody else is like, Bro, we got to throw you overboard. Like, what are you talking about?

Well, OK, but he's going to go with me if you throw me overboard. And there's so many people. This is the most freeing thing for them to hear. They'll be weeping, realizing God didn't leave me.

Yeah, and I think what you just said, I'm in the kitchen with a listener. They are hearing the voice of God through Brant, what you just said. They need to hear that. Because like you and me, they don't often feel it.

And they're like, that's truth. And if you're skeptical like me, does God speak? He just did.

He just did. To you. And how wonderful is that? Somebody reminded me of a scripture, so I memorized it a few days ago from Lamentations, where it's like all this horrible stuff is going to happen. Yet I call this to mind.

And then he reminds herself of the goodness of God. So you have to remind yourself of what's true. So that's what I do.

That's all. We have a very distracted culture. We have to remind each other, because we forget stuff. Some of the most basic stuff. I'll even look in my own old books, or somebody could do this with your own journals.

I'm like, hey, that's a good thought. I wrote that. I forgot.

Totally. And I have scripture all over the house. You know, it's written down.

And my grandkids are like, Nani, what's this? Like, oh, I just need to remember. This is what Jesus says. That's what it means to be human. And in fact, in Deuteronomy, God is saying, look, tie this around your wrist.

You have to put it on the doorpost. He knows they're living in a religion-soaked culture. And yet he's like, you're still going to forget. So I can't imagine it in this culture, where everything is so distractible. We've got everything pulling at us nonstop. Of course we need scripture all over the place. I need to commit it to memory, then say it over while I'm walking the dog so that I'm reminded of what's true. We are a forgetful people, aren't we? I feel like every morning I wake up, I need to remind myself of the truth, who God is, what he's done to rescue me through Jesus, and who I am to be in light of his goodness and grace. Because it feels like the guy who remembered all that yesterday died in my sleep.

So he needs to be resurrected with the truth. I love this reminder. It's such great, honest truth today from Brant Hansen. I'm Shelby Abbott, and you've been listening to David Ann Wilson on Family Life Today. You know, Brant has written a book called Blessed Are the Misfits. The subtitle is Great News for Believers Who Are Introverts, Spiritual Strugglers, or Just Feel Like They're Missing Something.

This book is gonna be available by going online to familylifetoday.com and clicking on today's resources. You and I get to benefit from conversations like these with people like Brant Hansen because of the generosity of our monthly partners who give and make this ministry possible. And I'd love it if you'd partner with us right now, too, because every gift given between now and the end of the year is gonna be matched dollar for dollar up to $3 million. So that's every gift that's given. When you give, it's gonna be doubled.

So it's super easy to give. You can just go online to familylifetoday.com. Look at the top of the page where it says Donate Now. Click on that button, and it'll easily walk you through making a monthly donation. Or give us a call with your donation at 800-358-6329. Again, that number is 800-F as in Family, L as in Life, and then the word Today. Or feel free to drop us something in the mail if you'd like, too. Our address is Family Life, 100 Lakehart Drive, Orlando, Florida, 32832. And another cool thing, too, is that when you give any amount, we're gonna send you a copy of Trillia Newbell's 52 Weeks in the Word as our thank you to you. So, again, you can go online to familylifetoday.com and click on the Donate Now button. Now, tomorrow, there are many in our Christian communities who struggle with emotions in relation to their faith.

They don't know how to express them correctly. Well, Brant Hansen is one of those guys, and he's back again tomorrow with David Ann Wilson to talk about that and so much more. We hope you'll join us. On behalf of David Ann Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a donor-supported production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-20 06:20:43 / 2023-12-20 06:34:00 / 13

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