Summary: How to Navigate Doubts and Difficulties Series: The Deconstruction Zone: Navigating Doubts and Difficulties Brad Bailey & Josh Call – July 30, 2023

How to Navigate Doubts and Difficulties

Series: The Deconstruction Zone: Navigating Doubts and Difficulties

Brad Bailey & Josh Call – July 30, 2023

Intro (Brad) -

Today we are concluding our series called…The Deconstruction Zone ….Navigating Doubts and Difficulties

At one level it’s about the question…

What do we do when what we believe is true and good... doesn’t seem so clear?

Began the series helping us see WHAT we are navigating…

Navigating Development: From childhood simplicity to adult complexity (and mystery)

Navigating Individuation: From the beliefs we received to a faith we own

Navigating Questions: Embracing doubt as a means (not an end)

Navigating Disappointment: From initial trust to reacting to hypocrisy and harm

We need to create space for discernment

Navigating Cultural Influence: Discerning truth amidst the current social beliefs, values, and pressures that surround us

Then for the past 4 weeks, engaged some core ideas amidst our current culture… that can become … that are too often left unengaged.

• Aren’t We Better Off Without Religion?

• What About Hypocrisy and Abuse?

• Is Christian Belief Rational?

• Isn’t Christianity Homophobic?

Today…concluding with some practical ways to navigate such a process….how God may speak to us about How to Navigate Doubts and Difficulties

Faith is more dynamic that simply a set of beliefs that we master….

It’s about following the life and teachings of Jesus.

If we stand back and realize what we are engaging…. It is he who represents the source of all life… announcing that we have been living in separation… darkened understanding… gone astray… and he is declaring what is true and good.

Our journey is one of moving through life …and moving towards that unchanging truth.

And this helps us appreciate that what following Jesus is defined by is a “disciple”

The noun disciple comes from the Latin word discipulus, which means "student, learner, or follower." Disciple is a learner …so we are always in process… which does not mean truth changes

As I said the first week: I believe that…

God wants us to create a space wide enough to navigate …but with guideposts that keep us from finding ourselves stuck on the side of the road.

So the road should be wide enough for our living with some mystery… some space to navigate….but also some guideposts…to keep us from just swerving off and finding ourselves stuck on the side of the road.

Maybe something doesn’t make sense and we need clarity… maybe a source along the way hasn’t been trustworthy…and we need more discernment… but maybe we do understand what Jesus is saying…and’s it’s just not popular… or it’s personally changing.

So today we are going to conclude offering a few practical points on…

How to Navigate Doubts and Difficulties

(This is close at heart for both Josh Call and I… and so we are going to each share in some points about what God has brought to mind for us.). Welcome Josh…

1. Face our questions… but also our hearts. (Josh)

As I’ve been talking with friends this week about how I’d be going up on Sunday and sharing the stage with Pastor Brad, they asked, “Well how exactly is that gonna work?”

For me, I think of each of these points that we’re gonna be trading off as practical tools in the toolbelt of someone navigating this deconstruction process, either their own, or a friend, colleague, relative, loved one.

So if you’re sitting here thinking, “I’m not deconstructing! This doesn’t hold any value for me,” I want to remind you that we are right now moving into a world that is increasingly post-deconstruction. And as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission in our friend groups and families and communities, I think that these tools can serve us in engaging people who maybe were raised Christian, or used to identify as Christian, or aren’t sure what they believe with regard to the claims of Christianity.

So the first tool in our toolbelt is to face our questions — but also our hearts.

Face our questions — but also our hearts

I think that God has given human beings a mind that reflects his — a rational mind, a creative mind. And I think with that comes an invitation to investigate the doubts and the questions that arise with respect to heaven and God and why we’re here. I firmly believe that there are good, solid, sturdy answers that can help bolster our faith as we seek after God.

But what’s fascinating is, two people can approach the same set of facts, and still walk away with wildly differing perspectives on what they’ve seen. One person might look through a telescope and say, “It’s impossible that in all the vastness of the universe, there is a personal God who cares about me,” while the next person looks through the same telescope and says, “Wow, I don’t know you could see the vastness and the beautiful complexity of the universe and not believe.”

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