Brave Insights

Former pastor turned rogue Christian author and speaker gives some incredibly brave insights in “How to Survive a Shipwreck,” his autobiographical handbook on how to keep your faith afloat while the world falls to pieces all around you. Here’s some excerpts that really speak to our hopes as Rogue Millennials!

“[As a pastor] I always got to sit at the table where the people with influence get to decide who does and does not belong at the Lord’s Table. I always knew the table of Jesus is the table spread for the outsiders. I always knew that the table is spread for all. I always fought, in the small ways I could, for anyone who had felt excluded to find a place there. And yet I see now how, with again my buckets of good intentions, how much my lack of real-life, real-world experience made me inadequate to the task.”

“That night, I saw something I did not want to see. I saw I was loving people from a distance – because their situations were complicated and boldly messy and just too precarious – when God had paid the ultimate price to come near… I had become too busy with safe Christian work, vaguely caring but too clinically detached, having an impervious bedside manner. I was too cautious in navigating the complicated politics of ecclesial life, still very much a voice for love and compassion generally but avoiding any particulars that could get me into trouble… I knew I had held a lot of people and a lot of pain at arm’s length… I now had the terrible gift of sight. I could not avoid real-life stories anymore just because I was afraid of where they might take me.”

“[John 9] is a text not just about physical seeing but about spiritual seeing as well – about the ways that institutional religion often has a vested interest in keeping people blind. It’s a story about how the gift of sight is a disruption to the powers that be, the scandal of grace-healed eyes to the powerful. To see from God’s perspective is to have the divisions between us and them – the distinctions of class, color, and status – be burned away… The same eyes are able to see through the hollow machinations of those in power, able to see that the emperor has no clothes. Religion that is self-serving and self-interested is always threatened by the disruption of new sight. There are political implications to how we see, implications for systems and social structures.”

“What I care about is perspective, which unlocks the door to any authentic wisdom. My simple appeal: not to trust your own [perspective], especially when you’re judging the world from on top of it.”

If you’ve ever had a crisis in life or a crisis in faith, we highly recommend “How to Survive a Shipwreck” for further reading!

jonathan-martin

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