When I first started listening to the Liturgists Podcasts, I was suspicious of Mike and Michael. I thought they might be subtly trying to influence people to leave their faith in Christ. I was afraid that even though they were so charming, persuasive and winsome, they were seducing people to believe what they wanted people to believe.
Now, after listening to about 12 podcasts, reading their manifesto, experiencing their liturgies, and perusing Science Mike’s website, my faith in Jesus has only been strengthened. The fruits of the Spirit, including (off the top of my head) patience, love, joy, peace have increased in my life. My ability to trust God as a loving creator who wants everyone to have a truly abundant life has increased.
When I think about how at age 16 I left the Methodist Church which was my faith community all the time I was growing up, I wish with all my heart that I could have experienced the conversations and teachings of Michael, Mike and friends. I could have avoided so much pain. I believe that God will make something good out of my promiscuity, affairs, and the double life I lead for so many years that caused pain for those who I loved and betrayed. But I also believe that he did not cause or want these to happen to me.
With the number of millennials and gen x people leaving the church as well as the older people who now call themselves “dones” (done with church), people are becoming disillusioned with the beliefs that are forced upon them. Then the temptation is to throw the baby out with the bath water.
The refreshing message that Mike and Michael share which is that it is okay, and even healthy, to have doubts and questions, is something that can help people to fully own their faith in Jesus. They encourage people to find a faith community where they can feel safe. Their love for Jesus is apparent in both their message and the tone of voice in which they share. They give people permission to be authentic, and thus to be able to grow into a faith in a good, loving God that creates healthy relationships with family, friends and everyone who is differently.
Their teachings can inspire atheists, secular humanists, Druids, pagans, agnostics, Wiccans, Buddhists and others who have been turned off by rigid and judgmental Christians who sincerely believe that it was our fault that Jesus had to die because we sin, and that people who don’t believe a certain way are going to hell. These are the folks who kept pushing me away from Jesus, who I was yearning to find even after (or even more so) I left the church. I don’t want these folks to have so much power. That is why I am passionate about sharing these podcasts. I want people to find the Jesus that I know, who said on the cross as he was being tortured and killed, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
Soon I will write a blog post telling you how I think you can best be introduced to the liturgists, and get the most out of learning from them. I don’t want you to experience the same blocks I did, and be tempted to give up before you really get to know these guys like I feel I have. The first thing I encourage you to do is listen to Podcasts 6 and 7 with the following description:
Let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you!