Subscribe to Central Christian Church: https://www.youtube.com/CentralChristianAZ?sub_confirmation=1
Central Student Ministries YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/CSMStudentMinistries?sub_confirmation=1
Central Children's Ministries YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/CentralAZChildrens?sub_confirmation=1
Leading people to discover and fully own their faith in Jesus. That is the mission of Central Christian Church, led by Pastor Cal Jernigan based in Mesa, Arizona with multiple locations throughout Arizona.
We are a community of grace and forgiveness where everyone is allowed, encouraged, and expected to be authentic. This is a safe and practical place to come as you are and grow in your faith, but this is also a place where complacency is challenged.
You are Made For More.
To support Central's ministry and help us continue to help people discover and fully own their faith in Jesus click here: https://www.centralaz.com/Give
If you have a prayer request that we can be praying for or want us to pray with you please let us know by visiting www.centralaz.com/prayer or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Message Podcast: https://centralaz.buzzsprout.com/
Beyond The Lines Podcast: https://www.centralaz.com/beyond-the-lines
#MadeForMore #LoveBeyond #CentralAZ #ChurchOnline #OnlineChurch #CentralChristianChurch
Well, good morning everyone, and, uh, one more time. Welcome, welcome to you. Uh, if you are on any of our slides. Welcome to you if you're watching online. Uh, so today we're gonna do something special. We're, uh, in what we call a salek message. And a salek means catch a breath. It's a pause. It's kind of these little times that we insert between bigger series.
I need to tell you up on top of this message that, um, I ch I made a change. I was gonna try to cover all that I want to talk about in one week. And I, when I wrote this, I thought there's just absolutely no chance. So we're gonna do this in two parts. We're gonna do this one, and then we're gonna talk about it next week, and then we're going to begin a series on Hebrews, which will be fantastic.
But, um, I want to say upfront that I'm gonna ask you to indulge me and be kind and gracious to me because I want to talk about. Something today that I think there's no way you can get around it. It's negative and, and, uh, I don't, I want to explain a problem today and then next week I want to bring a bunch of scripture to address the problem.
So I, my, my plea with you is that you just understand that today will be light on scripture because I got to explain a problem. And if you'll allow me that, I promise you next. Uh, we'll be back to normal, which is let's open our Bibles and we're gonna go deep now. We're gonna use the Bible today. Try, uh, but it won't be normal.
So, and again, if you're new, just understand this will not be normal. But let me, let me just say this. Um, the subject I wanna talk about today would just be easier enough to talk about a would be easy to ignore. The reality of it is, is just an elephant in the. And, uh, many, many families are being affected by what I want to talk about today and maybe your family and maybe your even personally there.
There's a risk in addressing what I want to talk about today, uh, because some of you might go, I don't even know anything about that, and now you've made me aware of a problem. Well, that's a risk. Um, but again, I think when we see it from scripture, uh, you're gonna see it. Maybe it's not as bad as it might seem, and I think you'll see that as we work our way through it.
Now, what's interesting about this subject is I've been asked to talk about this, uh, uh, kind of national conferences, which I've done. I've been asked to talk about this in other churches, which I've done. I've been asked to talk about this to our staff, which I've. But I've never done it on a weekend with a congregation.
So what are we here to talk about? What in the world are we, I want to talk to you about something that's very, very prevalent right now. It's called deconstruction or deconstructing one's. Faith, it, it, it, if you keep your ears open, if you pay any attention to TikTok, if you pay any attention to Twitter, and you get on these certain threads and these, you know strings, you'll hear about this all the time.
and, uh, it, it's a very, very relevant issue. Now, I'm gonna upfront give you the big idea. I'm gonna tell you what we're gonna talk about this week and next week. Um, the big idea is, is this idea right here, all faith is fragile until it's been tested by fire. Your faith, my faith, all faith is fragile until it's been tested by fire.
This is a subject that will test your faith by fire, and you'll understand that more clearly. Now, I want you to understand if, if, if I can just get personal here for a few moments in my lifetime, I, I would say I have three major loves. I'm not gonna tell them in order necessarily, but, but the first would be my family.
I love my family, I love my wife Lisa, and we've been married for a lot of years, um, about four and a half decades. And, and we have a great story. It's been wonderful and I love my kids. My kids grew up to love Jesus and they married, uh, people that love Jesus, love those guys. Uh, and we have eight grandkids and they love Jesus, and I love that.
And my family is a huge love in my life. My second love, and again, not in order would be God. It was 50 years ago, literally this year, 50 years ago, that I gave my life to Jesus and I. I, I've loved the life that I've lived. Uh, it's been fantastic. So I've loved my marriage and I've loved my relationship with God.
And my third love is the church. Now, I would say it this way. I love the church generally, but I love this church very specifically. And, uh, I, I, I, I, I think about my, my years here, and again, three and a half decades of my life has been here. More. I've lived here, more than I've lived in any other setting in my life.
More of my life has been spent here. I absolutely love the church, but I need you to understand something. I didn't grow up in the church and I didn't grow up knowing God and I didn't grow up married. I made a choice to join a church. I made a choice to believe in God. I made a choice, um, to um, uh, get married.
I made a choice. I entered the ministry, uh, a bit reluctantly, which I don't have time to talk about that. I, I didn't grow up ever wanting to be a pastor, but I felt like God called me to be a pastor. And again, lot, there's, I just don't have time to go into the detail. I just need to get you to understand that I, I became a pastor because I felt like God wanted me to do this and, and I've loved to be in a pastor.
I've loved my career. I, it's been fantastic. But there was an event that happened in my. Then I want to just tell you quickly about, I felt this goes back, this was the church before this church, so this goes back 35, 36 years actually goes far farther back. But, um, I, I, I got called by God to go to a particular church in California.
I was in a church in Arizona. I got called to go to California. I need you to understand, I love Arizona. Woo. Yeah. Woo. Um, I, I, I love Arizona. I, I, I don't love California. Okay. Um, uh, but I, I felt like God wanted me to go there and I, I could spend an hour explaining to you I have never been more, certain God wanted me to do something than I was certain that he wanted me to go to California.
But it was the absolute worst experience of my life, the time we were in California. Uh, had, uh, the church that I was called to go to and God told me, I know, I'm telling you I'm positive. I'm supposed to go there. It was the, uh, worst experience had nothing to do with me. I was in the middle of it, but I was involved because I was on staff and it was the ugliest church fight I've ever seen in, in, in my days.
It was so bad and I don't know how to say it other than it was just disgusting. I don't know if you've ever experienced a church falling apart and splitting and f fracturing, but it, it's ugly. And people say the ugliest things, the most unkind things get said. It was horrible. And I want to tell you about that because I want to tell you this.
There has never been a time in my ministry, um, of the years I've been a pastor where I was closer to wanting. I want out. I wanna tap out, I want out of this, stay with me. There had never been a time in my life before or since when I came closer to saying, I don't want to walk with Jesus anymore. I want out.
I don't wanna be a Christian. I wanna be a Christ follower. It's disgusting to me. And if I can be real candid with you, all of the stress of all of that, . There's never been a time, I think my relationship with Lisa was more volatile than that time. We had just had a baby. We had just bought a house. We were stressed beyond measure.
So close to quitting, so close to giving up. And, uh, a again, I don't know if you've ever experienced, uh, church hurt, but we had a ton of church hurt. I would say church hurt is just right behind family hurt. Your family can hurt you deep. The church can hurt you deeply too. And, uh, this experience that we had and, and you know, somebody humorously said, , you know, someone humorously compared the church to know it's ark.
You know, if it wasn't for the storm outside, you couldn't stand the stench inside. Now that's exaggerated, but there are times when that's really, really, , and this was one of those times. So this experience left me disgusted, disheartened, discouraged, disillusioned, distraught. So I went through this identity crisis and uh, my biggest question is, who wants this?
Who wants this? Now, in all the struggle with all of that, I, I. Faced with an like that is as ex existential of a crisis as you can have in a life. What I just described. And when I was in the depth of that pain, I kept asking myself, I want out. But the question I couldn't get out of was where would I go?
Like what would I do instead? What would I give my life to if I didn't give my life to. I don't know if you're familiar with John chapter six. Let me just explain what happens in John chapter six. Jesus is a rockstar in John the beginning of John chapter six. He's a rockstar man. People are following him.
He's all the talk. He's all the rage. Everybody, everybody, everybody's, it's all about Jesus. You know Jesus in John chapter six, explain to his disciples what that thing we just did was the thing we call communion. When he was explaining about his body that would be hung on a cross and his blood that would be shared, uh, shed, when he shared that with the people, there was a reaction where they're like, going, what?
Like what Now? We've become familiar with it, but they weren't familiar with it. And there was like a mass movement away, ev it seemed like everybody said, I'm out, I'm tapping out. They all kind of abandoned Jesus. . They just said, we're done. This is bizarre. This sounds like cannibalistic or something. They couldn't handle what he was trying to explain to them about the symbolism of his and forever to be remembered.
You know, every week we remember the death bear and resurrection of Jesus. That's what we do in communion. But they had never heard that and it was, didn't go over well. So then everybody dumps on Jesus leaves and Jesus turns to his disciples, his 12 guys. . He looks at them and he's gonna like put a question to him.
Let, and let me just read it to you. All right. This is John, uh, John 6 66 to 69. From this time, many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. Y you did not wanna leave. Two do you? And Jesus asked for the 12th. Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
Well, we have come to believe and know that you are the holy one of God. God, this is really hard, but it's worth it and I'm not giving up. That's what they said, and they didn't abandon him, and we're all here today because they didn't abandon him. I am here today because I didn't tap out. I give you my word from the bottom of, I am so glad I didn't.
Uh, out. I'm so glad he didn't quit. I'm so glad I stayed with Jesus. I'm so glad I stayed with the ministry and I am so glad I stayed with Lisa, but I'm telling you it was hard. Now, again, why are we talking about all this? I want to tell you right now about a different outcome of a different person in the ministry and, uh, you might be familiar with this, and if you don't, you need to become familiar with this because if you're paying any attention to this sort of stuff, you're gonna hear this guy's name.
Because it's, he's being talked about quite a bit. His name is Joshua Harris. Joshua Harris in the late 1990s wrote a book, uh, that became like, he was a, he was like a evangelical boy wonder. He was a young guy that wrote this book that sold a hundreds of thousands of copies. It was this, this, this, like, it took the Christian world by storm and.
it led to what we refer now to the purity culture of the nineties. Now again, all of this might sound foreign to your ears. It just follow me. There was a movement in the nineties that was all about keeping yourself pure in, in the church and, and, and it had a lot to do with students in ministry. But this book, in fact, I'll show you a picture here of the book.
I promise you, I'll show you a picture. It'll just, anytime now this picture's just gonna appear. You're gonna, you're gonna be amazed when you see this picture, not that picture. There's another picture. There it is. His book was called I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Big, huge, huge response to this book. I kissed dating Goodbye.
Um, at 29 H 29, he became the lead pastor. Of a megachurch in Maryland. This guy was big time, big time. Um, he held that position. Uh, in fact, here's a picture of him. This is Joshua Harris, all right? And, uh, 14 years he led this church. It was part of what was called the Sovereign Grace Ministry Network. And what happened in the Sovereign Grace Ministry Network was there was a scandal and a cover.
and, um, it, the, it was, it was really bad. It was messy. Okay. He became so disillusioned over that and so disillusioned over, uh, the way Christians can be and so disillusioned even over his own life and decisions that he had made and things that he had. He, he came, he became just disillusioned about God is the bottom line.
All right. And uh, he made a decision in 2015 to leave the ministry and it was shocking, but he just said, I just can't do this anymore. Now I understand that what happened that was worse was in 2019, he came out and said, I'm leaving my wife and I'm leaving Christianity. Um, he apologized for the book. He said, I just, I'd take back what I said.
I repent and I'm sorry if I've screwed your life up. Like it screwed my life up. Uh, he wrote these words, I'll just quote 'em. He said, I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus. The popular phrase for this is deconstruction. Uh, the biblical phrase is falling away. By all measures, uh, all measurements, uh, uh, that I have for defining a Christian.
I am not a Christian. Well, lemme say this, that was 2019 just before the pandemic, uh, that has, that was like he was the first big name that just said, I'm done. I'm out. Uh, it was followed. His announcement was followed by several Hillsong worship leaders. Uh, I'm out. Uh, the, the son of a very popular preacher, uh, came out and said, Hey, I'm done too.
I'm out. There were YouTube channels that were like, hosted by Christians who came out and said, we're done. I'm done. I'm out. And they, they got out. Um, I need you to understand through social media and the world we now live in, you can't keep any of this secret. Okay. It's got, it's like, sh we don't talk about that.
Everybody knows if you're paying a. that this is happening. And again, I don't think you would necessarily pay attention, but in the circles I run in, I'm aware of this stuff. And, um, this thing started snowballing and just getting bigger and bigger. Um, I I, I don't think it's an exaggeration to say every single church in America has been affected by this.
I don't think that's exaggerated. Uh, I, I, I think many people in the room here and wherever you are watching the I. I've been affected. This has hit families. This has torn, I mean this has been like a major earthquake through the Christian community. Let me explain deconstruction to you cuz that's really the subject I'm talking about.
Let me give you a couple of definitions. One is by Elisa Childers. She said, deconstruction is the process of going through everything you've ever believed about God and Jesus, the Bible, Christianity, all the doctrines, all the history, everything you thought about it and, and you're sort of rethinking everything.
let's deconstruction. Okay. Uh, another guy, mark Hackett, who is kind of like a church culture critic, if you would, not a bad guy, but, uh, Faithy Construction is the systemic pulling apart of one's belief system for examination For Christians, that can mean a wide array of questions ranging from the theological to the practical.
It, it's literally when you take all the things you've believed and you just decide, I'm questioning 'em at all, all of it. I'm just, I'm gonna go through some serious, Now, let me give you three reasons why this is happening and, and I think, um, you'll, you'll go, okay, I see that and just, I'm, again, I'm trying to make this, uh, simple enough to cover in a message.
And I, I've gotta, I've just gotta be somewhat brief. All right. Number one, why is deconstruction happening? There's an abundance of doubts, let's just call it that, an abundance of doubts. Uh, we live in a day in and age, unlike any other day in age in. where you are exposed if you want to be. You are exposed to all kinds of faiths around the world.
Y we live in a day in and age where you can find out what's going on inside. Any kind of faith movement, any kind of religion, any kind of, any, you can just tap in. You know how to do this. It's you do it with your social media and you can hear all kinds of points of view, and it's created a ton of confusion.
We're forced today to have to face things we've never had to face before, but now we are. The problem is answers that we were given when we were younger that held weight when we didn't know better. Don't necessarily hold weight when you do know better. Let me say it this way, there have always been questions about God.
Dealing with doubt has always been a part of the Christian trajectory. You cannot be a Christian. Have doubts about some stuff. It's like, this doesn't make sense to me. That's always been the case. Always, always from the beginning to now has always been the case. Why? Why is there evil in the world? Why does God allow suffering?
So this week you watched in Turkey, in Syria, God, why? Why? Why God, why do bad things happen to good people? And good things happen to bad people? That's a huge one. God. And guess what? It, it does work that way. All right? I can't make it not, it just seems that way, that God just, he sometimes it seems like he makes bad people's lives good.
And you go, why God? Why? When we pray, aren't your answers more clear? Why don't you make yourself more obvious than you?
Well, here, here's my, I could go down that list farther. Yeah. I think you get the point. There's always this, these questions have always been there. There. There's nothing new there. That's just life. As a Christian dealing with that stuff. But here's what's happening now. And you go, how do I know this is happening now?
Because see now other questions are being asked that are. And, and there's a Christian answer to each of the questions I'm about to ask. There's a, a, a trite Christian answer to it, but a lot of people are going, I'm not buying that answer. But you go, how do I know these questions are being asked? Here's how I would describe it.
Because of social media, you can come sit around their campfire. And I have, I, I snuck in because they opened the door and I just didn't listen. I didn. Get into arguments or I just sat and listened around the campfire. What are they all talking about? These people that are deconstructing, and again, this is generalized, this, I'm putting a whole bunch of people in one big group.
Not exactly how it happens, but what are they talking about? What are they, why is causing people right now to go, I don't want to be a part of Christian faith. Lemme tell you what they're talking about. Now, again, you might have all kinds of reactions to this. Don't get on me because of what they're talking about, but I want to tell you what they're, they want to understand how in the world has Christianity become the national religion that, that people are like literally marrying the cross to the flag.
And so we th see things like the January 6th insurrection. How in the world can that be happen? by Christians and they're, they have que, how is it possible that people of unquestionable character, meaning we know it's questionable character, please understand what I'm trying to say, how can they become president of the United States?
How is that possible? How is it possible that the church has supported that and allowed that to. And, and look to that leader as kind of their savior. Uh, how come purity culture was so important in our lives and, and you all taught us that we should, we should stay pure. And yet on a national platform, we watch the church embrace what's obviously not about purity.
And they're going, that seems incredibly inconsistent. Why do. Whether you wanna argue whether this is happening or not, just this is why people are deconstructing. How come the church doesn't care about racism? How come the church supports racism? Because it won't talk about stuff. Why has justice become a bad word to say in church?
How come the church cares so much about, so much more about success? And building projects and politics. Then they care about poor people. They, well, again, these are the questions, and you, you and I can say they're not valid. Trust me, these are the questions. All right. Now, an abundance of doubts. We've got all the normal doubts and we've got all these other doubts because of they're watching what's happening in Christianity and going, I don't see this.
And how about this one? The second thing is a sense of disillusionment and disenchantment. A sense of disillusionment and disenchantment. Um, disillusion, uh, disenchantment, do you remember when you were enchanted with your Christian faith? I, I clearly do. Well, when I was enchanted with my Christian faith, it was all I could ever think about.
It was all that it, ma it was, I was so out there. I was telling everybody I couldn't wait to be in church. I couldn't wait. I'd read my Bible, you know, multiple times a day. I would pray and pray and pray, and I couldn't wait to be together with the church. And we were singing Kumbaya, and it was awesome. As you remember being enchanted with your faith.
And, uh, you know, it's, it's a really wonderful thing. . But here's what I can tell you. Having been in this for now almost 50 years, you will become disenchanted by something. There's gonna be some that's gonna come along and it's going, it's gonna turn your head. You're gonna go, wait a minute. What about that?
How come that happened? What? What's behind that? I, in other words, there's no way you can live in a Christian life for long without being disappointed by people, disappointed by the church, maybe feeling disappointed by God. . And if you're wondering like, what, what do you mean you, you're gonna have questions That answers just seem to like, when, when, when you're young in the faith, you think there's only one way to read the Bible.
There's only one interpretation. But I'll tell you what, after you've been in this for a while, you realize there's different ways you can read things. And historically people have read things differently. So like in our day and age, there's, and I won't go in any depth. There's two major ways to interpret the Bible right now, and this is so simplistic, but just get the point.
Here's what's called Calvinism and what's called arminianism. Calvinism believes in in in predestination, and it's all what God. It's God's. It's all God. Arminianism believes in free will and that man has a say in how it all plays out. You go, how come there's these views and these views? Because there's these views in the Bible and there's these views in the Bible and it all depends how you study and how you put it together to make it make sense.
But you, you, no, it's gotta be this and other people go, it doesn't have to be this. My very best friend in the ministry in the valley is the opposite of what I am. Doesn't have to ruin friendships. It just, you interpret things differently. You see things differently. How come? How do you come disenchanted?
I thought Christian leaders were what they appeared to be. I expected Christian leaders to be what they, I expected them to practice what they preach. I expected that what I saw is what they actually were. Can disen quickly disenchanted when you discover that's not always true. Um, I, I remember when, you know, I thought there were logical.
Explanations for suffering and that they would make sense. I, I thought our prayers would always be answered, uh, the way we prayed them. I, I, I originally thought that Jesus, when he said, you'll know the people who love me, uh, the people who follow me. You will know them by their love for one another. I believe in that to this day.
But I'll tell you what, I can't believe how much Christians don't love one. And we're just okay with it. That'll disen you. You get the idea of what I'm saying here. I thought that as you got older in your faith, the more you have time to walk with Christ, the more Christ like you're actually gonna become.
That is not true. It can be true and it's sometimes true. You can live a long, long time. You might be less close to Christ now than you were a decade. Now, physically you got older, but spiritually you don't have to mature. I just assumed you did. Well, these are the things that disenchant, lemme go to the third one.
A desire to detach, uh, uh, to, to decon. Like, I gotta get a way to think this out, to detach, to deconstruct.
I want to have some space. I wanna rethink, I wanna get perspective. And what I want to talk about next week. Is that really a bad thing? Uh, we'll, we'll wrestle with that. I, I know it could be bad, but does it have to be, I mean, if deconstruction means demolition, deconstruction means des, you know, deconstruction means destruction.
Yeah. We're gonna say that's a bad thing, but is it a bad thing? When you start looking at your faith and you start going, I, I've got some serious questions about that, and you begin to take your faith and look at it a little bit more critically than you've ever looked at it before. Like, like, like for instance, if your car's not running and you take it to a mechanic, what you're doing is you're asking the mechanic to deconstruct your engine, to fix the problem, to put the engine back together so the problem doesn't go into the future.
Is that a bad thing?
You can't have your car while is being deconstructed. It's in a shop or, or let me, uh, we, this earlier last year, I guess now we remodeled the master bath, the bath in our primary bedroom. We remodeled that and uh, man, they came in and just made a mess. They tore the place apart, ripping this out, ripping that out, tearing this, pulling this.
and, uh, they had to like literally say, you can't be in there. That's like off limits. Uh, it, it was deconstructed for the purpose of being reconstructed into a more, uh, adequate, timely, relevant, uh, bath. And we had to use other means. We had to use a different bathroom to go to the bathroom and to shower.
And now here's the point, I wanna say, um, it, it doesn't mean it's bad that somebody's going through this. It might actually be the very best thing for them for the long haul that they're processing through. But let me make sure you've seen the three that I've just laid out there. Okay? So the first is an abundance of doubts.
The second is a sense of disillusionment or disenchant. And third is just a desire to detach and deconstruct. Now listen, I'm out of time here. I wanna share with you really quickly the three ways the church typically responds to this and why we're making the problem worse. And that's what I want to pick up next week.
How do we make this better? Three problems The church tends to do it, it, it reacts with three Ds as. Number one is disgusted. Somebody's going, you know what? I don't know that I still believe what I once believed. I'm thinking about this, you know, I'm going through this pro. I got Doos all this, and we just click our tongue like, what's wrong with you?
And, and you know, immediately attack and put them down. No sense of empathy, no sense of sympathy, no sense of like, I can I walk with you through this? Our discuss comes out in anger, hostility, argument. we manifest discussed in our need to be proven right. I'm gonna tell you why what you're saying is wrong.
So discussed is a very common reaction of of the church to when somebody's going, you know what? I'm processing this, I'm processing this. The second one is denial. The church is denial Is what? Problem? What are you talking about? Deconstruction. I don't know anything about deconstruction. What do you to ignore?
The problem is to deny the problem. to decide that we could just go on and as if none of this is happening, we're just gonna keep plowing ahead, like nothing has changed and we're just gonna stick our head in the sand and we're gonna minimize the point of view of the critic of the church. What do they know and what difference?
Do the dechurched, because that's who they, they're dechurched. They went to church and they were of us, but they're not. And so what different, who cares about them?
A belief that the church will be fine in spite of them. That's denial. So discussed and denial. And the third one is dismissal. Just let 'em go. Just let him go. Who cares? I mean, Jesus said, you know, in the end the love of many would grow coal. There you have it. There you have, there's just wolves in sheep's clothing.
And they were in us, but they were never of us. And who cares?
Now, let me just say this and then I'll, I'll close for today. Let me just say this. If you go to Galatians five, what we know is the fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control. That's what the spirit produces. Did you hear in there discussed denial, dismiss.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control. Here's my point. I don't think any of these responses are from Jesus. This is man's response to the pain of watching people walk away and going, I don't want to do this anymore. So my question is, is there a better way? Is there a better way that we could grow in our faith and not pretend like this is not happen?
and actually have a discussion and talk about it. Um, I think there's a better way. I wanna just remind you all, faith is fragile until it's been tested by fire, and I want to remind you of Hebrews 11 one. Now, faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Now. That was a lot, that was dark.
That was heavy. All right. You might be walking out right now, and again, wherever you are, I'm going, I'm, I'm chucking my faith as a result of that message. Please wait until next week before you decide to chuck your faith. Okay? Because I wanna talk about what should we do about this. My own personal leadership philosophy, and anyone who knows me, knows this problems don't go away because you ignore them.
Problems grow and get bigger because you ignore them. I, I don't think there's anything wrong just talking about this and going. , um, is there a better response? And I want you to know there is a better response than discussed denial and dismissal and that we will pick up next week. Please, please, please show up next week.
I, I don't, I don't want you to just hear this part. This was the hard part. Next week you're gonna see what God's up to. Let's pray. Okay. God, thank you for our time. Thank you for the chance to be in your word, just to wrestle with these issues. And God, we pray for people who are in the process right now of just going, I just don't think I believe anymore.
And um, there is a reality of falling away. And we will talk about. But God, it doesn't always mean it's forever. Sometimes it's, I'm gonna tear something apart, fix it, and then I'm gonna put it back and it's gonna be better than it's ever been. And, and God, we have a tendency to, uh, be threatened by things like this.
And I don't think we need to be, and I don't think you want us to be. So God, help us to know how to handle ourselves in these tough times, but also how to relate to people who are going through tough times with. And not to be threatened and not to be, uh, overwhelmed. So to that end, God, we just commit, uh, we, we will listen, you teach.
In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Thank you all very much.