I need to make a confession.
I am a heretic.
I thought you should know.
I have wanted to talk about this openly for a long time now, but haven’t been able to find the words to do so. Actually, I have wanted to talk about a LOT of things for a long time now, but just couldn’t figure out how to say them properly, and with the right words, to convey what I was thinking and feeling in my heart
As I look back on my short 33 years of life on this planet, I can see that it can be defined by two epochs of time. Before kids, and after kids.
I opposed gay marriage, prayed for revival in our nation, voted Republican, went to church every Sunday, believed that the Bible was infallible, and though that anything outside of my understanding was wrong and probably dangerous. (Don’t judge me……..it was a long time ago.)
The only issue was that in early 2004 cracks in my ideology began to appear.
I began to question my political stances on some of the most important issues of the day. I strayed from the party line and ended up becoming a bit of a thorn in the side of many of my politically connected friends.
My questioning seeped over into my spiritual life, and before I knew it I was questioning long held beliefs.
Of course I didn’t tell anyone, and kept everything quite, because to express doubt, or to question why we do certain things, or why we believe certain things, is just not acceptable in conservative American Christianity.
Then it happened.
My wife and I found out we were pregnant.
That is when my religious House of Cards (love you Kevin Spacey!!) came crumbing to the ground.
What I thought I knew about God, Life, Religion, the Bible, Church, EVERYTHING began to change.
I began to question (out loud) LONG held beliefs that just didn’t make sense to me anymore. I challenged myself to think outside the box on who God was and what He was really like.
Ideas like hell, eternal torture, and endless suffering from a God of Love didn’t make sense to me. I was lost on how we, as the supposed children of God, could treat others like the LGBT community with such hate and distain. I began to wonder if everything I had grown up believing was a lie.
I began to experience God and His presence in such ways that they can only be described as visions. I openly and honestly spoke with the Creator on issues that I struggled with…….and He answered. Well, more like He directed me to understanding.
It sounds weird.
But it happened.
That is when my theology began to change. I began to see and understand the Father that Jesus came to make known. I began to realize that the Father really was pure Love, Full of Grace and Truth, and unwilling that any should perish (Spoiler Alert: He rescues all in the end!!!)
It was a time of amazing encounters, but also deep darkness. (I speak about it HERE in another post.) It was a time of deep soul searching and there were several points that I thought I was losing my faith altogether.
I came out of the valley, stronger, wiser, but also with a limp (some of you out there know what I am talking about.) When you encounter God, and REALLY encounter Him, you don’t “walk” the same ever again!!
I ended up rejecting many of the theological and political ideas I had grown up believing.
I rejected hell and the idea that God the Father would send anyone to hell.
I rejected the idea that God Himself murdered Jesus in order to forgive us. I mean think about that for a moment, He commands through Jesus that we forgive our enemies, but he requires the murder of His own Son in order to forgive us? Makes no sense when you actually think about it!!
I rejected the idea that the Bible was anything more then what it says it is……….inspired by God. It’s not infallible, and does not demand that I believe every story in it for me to truly and deeply love Jesus.
With just these few stances I was condemned as a heretic, false prophet, wolf in sheep clothing, and blacklisted by people I loved and cared about. I was told I was leading people astray, that I should have a mental health evaluation, and that I was just an angry boy in a man’s body (that one hurt a lot because it came from a man I considered a friend and mentor).
There were times I thought I should just go back to the way things were and abandon all I had learned. I thought I should just repent and go back to being a good little conservative christian who believed all the right things.
But I couldn’t
That is when I just gave myself to my heretic calling.
2015: Rise of the Heretic
It is with this firm conviction that I move forward.
In the past, I have tempered myself on this blog. I tried to keep away from addressing the controversial topics that have come to dominate my life, convictions, and standards. I didn’t want to rock the boat.
That ends this year!! That ends tonight!!
Moving forward this blog will be exactly what the title says it is “The Life of Shawn.” My life, my thoughts, my observations on faith, family, freedom, and anything else that tickles my fancy. You will read posts on things I am thinking about, working on, experiencing, and more.
Nothing will be off limits, and I will fully express my thoughts on the matters at hand to the best of my ability.
I am sick of holding back for people who will be offended if I share what is on my heart. Honestly, if you are offended I don’t care. Know that your desire to not be offended keeps you from experiencing freedom. Freedom of thought, of life, of conscience, etc.
I am going to talk about everything!!!
Faith: Let’s talk about it!!
Politics: The Republicans are WORSE then the Democrats!!
Freedom: Who cares who marries another? Just as long as no one is forced by government to go against their conscience.
Football: Cowboys will always suck!!!
The Rise of the Heretic is here!!
You will hear about the cool things I am working on with one of my best friends, the brand we are building, and how you can be a part.
You will be able to connect with me in new ways through different outlets like:
Date Night in a Minivan: The blog my wife and I started talking about marriage, kids, and family life.
The Ringpost Report: My personal Pro Wrestling Blog
New websites, an upcoming eBook, and video/webinars.
2015 I give air to the many things my heart wants to share with the world. It will be fun, controversial, inspiring, a little upsetting, and always passionate.
I hope you will join me.
Until next time,
P.S. Be looking for the upcoming eBook “My Marriage Tune Up,” and if you want to learn how to make $500 a week with a blog just like this CLICK HERE.