Dispatches: “He is Just a Man.”

One of the most profound and delightful surprises since I started my public exvangelical exploration has been the opportunity to reconnect with family members whom I didn’t realize had also deconstructed. When you live in an Evangelical vacuum that roots your family deeply into its traditions, it is often difficult to know who you can trust in your family to talk about your questions, doubts, and concerns about your faith. The last thing you want is to get “reported” to your parents, your church, etc. It therefore feels necessary to keep your honest convictions close to the chest, as I did for years after I began my deconstructing process.

Until I started posting first on Facebook and then on this blog, for example, I had no idea that my paternal cousins had walked away from Evangelical Christianity years ago and now journeyed on their own path toward liberation from toxic theology. Since I began my posts, I’ve had the absolute blessing of reconnecting with them and learning so much more about my family’s history than the narrative I’d always been told. I’ve come away with a newfound appreciation for my Aunt Patsy, their mother, that I never had growing up. (She was the “wayward” one, according to my father.)

One of Patsy’s children, Karen Sanders, has inherited the family talent for songwriting and music (I will also take this moment to plug my sister Hope‘s work too — this talent runs deep). She’s shared with me a beautiful song that she’s written and posted onto SoundCloud that explores the story of Jesus from the perspective of someone who has walked away from traditional faith. You can listen to it here, and I encourage you to do so for this morning’s meditation. I’m also posting the lyrics below.

Thank you for sharing this, Cousin Karen — and for your courage in speaking out and contributing to these exvangelical conversations. If any of my other readers have thoughts, music, or art about their own deconstruction journey, please know that I am always humbled and honored when you share them.

Reminder: You are loved and worthy of love, just the way you are. Remember to be kind to yourselves and each other today. I love you.

The world can be what the world should be
If only everyone wants the peace
The world can be what the world should be
If only god would take us over his bended knee
Brother-to-brother, sister don’t you fight no more
We are like children who don’t want to share
We just go to war

So many die for god, so many die for liberty
So man die for men who take the power over all they see

He is just a man, taking all he can from the hand
Of the follower
He is just a man, he always takes and never gives a damn

Who’s the one who tells you what to believe
And what’s the word of god they want you to read
Who’s the one who wants your destiny in his hands
Your life in his hands, to kill your brother
What does this one have to lose
As he takes away, takes away your right to choose

Believers, unbelievers, all believe they have god’s favors
Can god really love the one who spills the blood of his children?

Open your eyes to what you’re living for
Don’t close your eyes to the one you’re dying for
Every living soul has a mother who is going to cry
For what you believe no one has to die

Who is the evil who is the good
And who’s the one who really talks to god
Who’s the one who says he knows the only truth
And to listen to the words of men
Does he tell you the highest one loves only you
And hates your neighbor who doesn’t pray the same as you

Its just a man who tells you who is your god
Its just a man who tells you fight to be free
Its just a man who wields the power of perception
It is just a man

Open your eyes to what you’re living for
Don’t close your eyes to the one you’re dying for

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