Stories of Us: John | City Bible Forum

Stories of Us: John

Finding the pain beneath the questions
Thu 13 Jun 2024



I had dinner with my close ex-Christian mate “D”. Without any lead-in from me, he asked me a question:

"How much does a person need to know about Jesus to be saved or to be a Christian?"

My initial answer was some hand-waving about faith and trust are more important than intellectual knowledge, but that it’s important to know the person that your are placing your faith in.

The question behind the question

As I asked more questions, it seemed like his question was more about how far away from the “old” gospel he might be, and if his faith still "counted" - which makes sense given where he is at faith-wise. He’s currently anti-church, anti "conventional Christianity", exploring some more fringe takes about Jesus on TikTok.

The pain behind the question

Spring-boarding from this topic, there was a natural opportunity to ask D about a key incident before he left the faith. D was serving in a ministry and had a major disagreement with several leaders, which contributed significantly to his disappointment with Church, Christian leaders, and Christians in general. D shared his deep frustration and hurt over how his faith in key people was dashed by their hypocrisy, and his disillusionment at seeing Christians' shallow love for the marginalised. It seemed to him that Christians were no better than the rest of the world.

Listening and Learning

I found this quite difficult to listen to given my own position relative to this story, and the unexpected strength of D's fury even after years have passed. However, I am thankful that D could share a key moment in his life that he had suppressed and almost forgotten. I shared that I resonated with the disappointment he expressed, and said that he had given me lots to think about and learn from so I would avoid repeating the same mistakes as someone in ministry and leadership.

My prayer for D is that God would heal the pain of his previous experiences, and he would be able to explore Jesus again unburdened.

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