The Liturgists Podcasts I just read riveting post on Facebook which written by a twenty-something man. His description of how he was disillusioned by mainstream Christianity and how he came back to faith in Jesus makes me think he would get excited when he hears the testimonials of Mike Mchargue and Michael Gungor. One is an evangelical turned atheist turned follower of Jesus, the other is the same–except for he was an agnostic. You can read their powerful stories on their Liturgist Podcast here.
Just to give you a taste of how powerful Mike’s (aka Science Mike) story is, listen to what Michael Gungor says:
“I honestly don’t know whether I’d still be a Christian or not if I hadn’t met Mike. I consider him to be one of the most interesting and important voices in American Christianity right now.”
Michael Gungor, singer/songwriter in Gungor
Until I get permission from him to share this story, I will call my friend Tony. When I read his vulnerable and raw description of how he left the church, I felt so connected to him. I had a similar experience when I left the church at 16. Only it took me 31 years to come back to a place where I could follow Jesus. I’m so glad that people like Science Mike and Michael Gungor are sharing a story I wish I could have heard when I was 16. I know that all the lessons I learned while being away from religion are valuable. But there was so much unnecessary pain that I suffered because I kept being pushed away from Jesus by Christians who had an incomplete understanding of how to follow him.
I sense that Tony, like me, wants other people to have the freedom that he has in leaving the confines of established religion and following Jesus in a radical way that leaves room for doubt, and includes the topics of science and art in relationship to faith.
I am guessing that Tony will feel encouraged that there are thousands of people who agree with him. I think when he listens to more of the podcasts, he will hear his story told, and be even more free to follow Jesus in a way that really makes sense and which transforms his life even more deeply.
Thousands of people (if not more) resonate with Mike and Michael and friends. When Tony learns how popular The Liturgists Podcasts have become even though their message is radically different from the sermons you hear from most church pulpits, I think these things will happen:
- Tony and I will will feel even more connected and he will realize we have more in common than we thought.
- He will want to share the podcast with other people and inspire them to listen, which will result in him feeling more connected with other people with similar views
- His songwriting, recording, and performing will be enhanced by what he learns on podcasts with those topics.
- He will inspire Michael and Mike to have a Belong Conference in Northwest Arkansas.
- We can brainstorm and come up with a plan about how to work together to find people in Northwest Arkansas to come to the conference.
Of course I am not assuming for sure that the above will happen, but I am going to start praying right now, and send this link to Tony. I hope this will be an opening for a conversation between us.
Thanks, Michael Gungor, Science Mike and all your friends and family, for creating a space and structure so that we who resonate with you can unite under an umbrella of faith in a Jesus who, among other things, championed the causes of love, justice, truth and compassion.