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Nov 02, 2010

Knowing Your Generation

One of the biggest problems I have with the religious mindset is that it completely disregards the heart condition of a particular generation. It forces a one-size-fits-all standard on everyone, regardless of the circumstances. Such a mentality is absolutely heartless because it’s based on knowledge rather than love. It assumes that every rule and regulation is for every person of every generation, regardless of their past or present. 

One of my favorite verses in the whole Bible is when Jesus told the people that Moses permitted them to divorce, regardless of what the law said. Jesus said that Moses did this because he knew the peoples hearts weremoses hard. I find that absolutely amazing. Moses goes to God and gets the 10 commandments. He literally feels the earth shake and watches the fire of God swirl down from heaven and carve each commandment into stone tablets on the side of the mountain, and when he comes down to the people he takes the liberty of changing things around a bit because he felt like the people weren’t ready for the whole "marriage commitment thing" yet. It's like he says, "These people will never be able to obey this one cause they suck at marriage. Let's give-em a way out." What I find even more amazing is that when Jesus is later speaking to the crowd about it, He gives us no indication that He disagreed with Moses. It appears that God went along with the amendment to the law.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   This is astounding to me! 

Moses had heart. He had a BIG heart. Imagine changing the law around like that because you think it’s too hard on your particular generation. That takes balls, and yet even though Moses did this, God doesn’t seem to have a problem with it. Rather than tell the world that Moses was wrong and he had no right to tinker with what God had written in stone, Jesus explains Moses’ reasoning as though the decision to change the law was entirely up to Moses and God agreed with his reasoning at the time. 

Many people in the religious world don’t know what to do with me because I continuously disrupt their neat little religious row of spiritual duckies that they’ve come to rely on. I make jokes that are sometimes off color. I use language that is questionable, and I openly do things that are considered sinful by traditional standards. The things they’ve been taught to cling to tightly, I handle loosely. The stuff they were taught to flee from, I partake in, openly, right before their eyes. I do not practice the things they practice. I don’t speak the rebellanguage they speak. When they refrain, I indulge. When they bow their heads, I lift my face. When they stand, I sit down and when they raise their hands, I yawn and look around. When they are spiritually deep, I am fleshy and shallow. When they study, I goof off and when they worship for long hours, I eat crackers and play hang-man on a pad of paper. 

When I speak to Christians today, and they hear the depth and beauty of the message I carry, there is always a point where I see that dreadful look in their eye. That look that says, He’s more spiritual than I am. He must spend hours doing the things I’ve been told to do. He prays more than me - He must fast more than me - He must spend hours studying the Bible - He sins less than I do -superHe’s way more committed than I am - His faith is deeper than mine - He’s more anointed than me - He does all the things he’s supposed to do and that’s why he’s so close to God. 

I come into it knowing what they’ve been taught. I know of all the spiritual hoops they’ve been told they must jump through in order to know the heart of God. I’m well aware of the long list of works they’ve been given to perform in order to be close to Him. They’ve been told that they must know the Scriptures front to back, and I know that they don’t. They’ve been told that they must spend hours in prayer, and I know they don’t. They’ve been told that there must not be any hint of sin in their lives, and I know there is. They’ve been given a religious picture of someone who hears the voice of God, and they look nothing like it. 

Most of their spiritual lives have been reduced to silently watching the pastor from the sidelines and rooting HIM on in a life and relationship that they know they’ll never experience personally. starvingThey’ve tried to do all the stuff that’s required of someone who wants a relationship with God, and they failed miserably. They tried to pray for eight hours straight like the miracle working missionary with all those exciting stories, but they got bored and fell asleep. They attempted to fall in love with reading the Bible, but for some reason it wasn’t as “roller coaster exciting” to them as the traveling evangelist acted like it was for him. They tried lifting their hands in passionate worship, but it just didn’t feel natural. They tried to hate sin like their pastor, but something inside them likes it. They feel disqualified, rejected, banned, useless, and hopeless because when they look inside themselves and compare what they see to the long list of things they’ve been taught they must adhere to in order to know God’s heart, they see how far behind they are. 

The Christian religion has been presented to us in a way that keeps God just out of reach from anyone interested. This way we have to keep coming to the experts for help. We’ll always need them to help us along in our desperate attempts to get closer to God because we’re not dedicated or committed enough. They present themselves as having a level of spiritual devotion that is unlike anything we could muster up in a million years, and then they stand before us willing to go to God FOR us because we aren’t as faithful as they are. 

When they hear me speak and they know that I know God, they begin to think those terrible things about how much better I am than them. I see them thinking it and I can’t help myself. I become the opposite of what they’ve been taught THEY must become. I startjoker breaking the rules right in front of them. I say an off-color thing or disrespect another thing they’ve been taught to respect. I bark out something fleshy and openly knock down something they hold as sacred. Everything in me wants to prove to them that they’ve been lied to. I’m not what they perceive me to be. I don’t follow the rules they’ve been taught to follow. I want to set them free from their religious lists of what makes a man or woman of God, and the only way I know to accomplish that is to become less than what they expect. 

They cannot deny that I know Him because my words are powerful and right. They can’t write me off as a blind man because they know I see. They can’t accuse me of lying because they’ve heard the truth from my mouth, and yet I am the opposite of everything they’ve learned they must be in order to know God. They’re left having to deal with that. It becomes a nervous tick in their spirit that won’t go away. It defies everything they’ve been taught and yet it still IS.

In the same way, Jesus openly broke the rules that the leaders of His time had set for the people concerning the Sabbath. He drank wine and hung out with sinners, yet his words cut people straight to the heart. His teaching had an authority that people could not explain. They saw him not following what they were taught to follow, yet he clearly came from God. It confused the leadership and freed the laymen. 

Yes, I’ve seen the Bible verses that condemn course joking and fleshiness. I’m well aware of the passages that tell us to avoid the appearance of evil. I’ve seen them all and they’ve been launched at me like spiritual hand-grenades by people who are more in tune to the biblescriptures than they are to their own generation. The lovelessness of religion proves itself to be more dedicated to the letter of Scripture than to the hearts of the people. Believe it or not there are times when some things don’t apply anymore. There are times when it’s okay to go against what is written if it’s for the purpose of love. LOVE is the fulfillment of the law. If you break the law in order to love; you’ve fulfilled it. If you follow the law RATHER than love; you’ve broken it!

I do what I do because I love the people. I become less than all of them in order to break them free from that impossible list of lies they’ve been put under. This generation needs to know that they can know God TODAY regardless of their spiritual condition. They need to know that they’ve been lied to about what it takes to hear His voice. They’ve been conned out of their confidence and stripped from their rights. I want them to think to themselves, “If this loser can know him, so can I,” because it’s true. 

I believe that this generation has been so bombarded with squeaky clean pictures of whatjoel we must become in order to be men and women of God that we’ve disqualified 99% of humanity from knowing Him. We’ve caused every person with an ounce of inner honesty to throw their hands up in the air and give up. For years I have said that this generation needs to see a new picture of spirituality. We need to know that a NORMAL every day guy or girl can hear God and know Him personally. We don’t need another super spiritual drippy sweet talking holy man. We need to know that people like US can have a relationship with Him. We need to know that WE can do it. 

I could easily be on my best behavior when I do a podcast show. I’ve been told that this is exactly what I need to do because it sets a good example for others. I’ve found however, that giving into that modern day picture of what a man of God looks like, doesn’t help people at all. It depletes them. It causes them to give up because they compare their inner selves to the sweet talking holy person they see on television, and they find themselves falling short once again. I’d rather be rough around the edges and let the cards fall where they may. In my experience I have found that people are encouraged by it because they come away feeling like THEY CAN DO IT.


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Comments

  1. Gravatar
    Starla

    Well, now I understand why you are sometimes a rebel on the podcast!...I remember when I first started listening I would cringe at some of the things you said, but I still felt your love for people and that is what kept me coming back for more. Now, 10 months later I get it...LOL and I love it, because it makes you human, and that is something I can relate to. love and appreciate all you do for us listeners/readers.

  2. Gravatar
    Laura

    Love it!!! Keep being real! There is freedom in love!

  3. Gravatar
    nat

    Love, love, love this post.
    It so resounds with me that it makes me wanna cry...

    Thank you.

  4. Gravatar
    Jana Guild

    Awesome.

  5. Gravatar
    Andie Redwine

    Compassion always trumps dogma. Well said, sir.

  6. Gravatar
    Liz

    Love it! Love it! Keep going Darin. This is so right on.

  7. Gravatar
    Dennis Tiller

    Darin...keep being the nut that you are! :-) I wouldn't listen to the podcast if it was just another Sunday morning bore-fest. Your heart of love comes through in your podcasts. Don't change a thing my friend!

  8. Gravatar
    Daniel Venie

    Darin I absolutely LOVED this article! It's the bee's knee's!

  9. Gravatar
    trish

    Okay, taking a BIG deep breath. Here goes, this post, just what I have felt for years. Our house is a safe haven for homosexual young adults. Some are kids that have grown up with my kids. I've known some of them since they were toddlers, and their parents. Others just find their way by word of mouth. Most of them want to know God! They just feel that God wants NOTHING to do with them because of the churches! Either they are rejected out right, or they are welcomed in, but then they have to get "healed" If they don't get "healed" in a timely fashion, they are kicked out. I assure them that the "church" is, well, one thing. A person who wants to learn how to love like Christ, because they know that they are loved by Him. They get a big smile, a hug, and food. They call our home, "The Island of Misfit People." These kids came up with that name because I love Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer cartoon, and they said our home was like the Island of Misfit Toys. They usually just come for FOOD!

  10. Gravatar
    TONY

    You have ehoed my heart in ministry, and some things that I have actually learned from a couple of "real" guys, who seem to know how to relate to people ... and even the Holy Spirit has led me to believe thusly. Thanks Darin!!
    Can I re-post this in my next email blog,
    with proper credits and all?
    It is hard to say it anymore clear than this!
    Thanks agin.
    TONY PRINCE

  11. Gravatar
    Lori

    Thanks Darin! I appreciate your sharing soooooo much!

  12. Gravatar
    myso

    Jesus did that all the time. He said, "Haven't you read about David, how he ate holy bread from the temple he wasn't allow to?" They said, "Why don't your disciples wash their hands before meal?" and "Why do you spend time with sinners?"

  13. Gravatar
    myso

    Trish, that's amazing!

  14. Gravatar
    Alena

    Perfect timing! I needed to read this today.

  15. Gravatar
    Debbie

    The power of the gospel just isn't ever enough anymore. Just ask Moses.

  16. Gravatar
    amy

    Absolutely the best!

  17. Gravatar
    Ed Johnson

    This could be taken as rebelion but I see it as pure love. A rebel will sit when everyone stands because of selfishness, what you're describing is love for people, which is as far from selfishness as you can get! Love triumphs again.

  18. Gravatar
    R.R.

    I usually read and move on without commenting but I'm very passionate about this subject.Love does not discriminate! I was handed a laundry list of what I had to do now that I have received Jesus Christ and my Savior. I looked at it and said,"This is not me!" Why would he accept me as I am when now you are saying I have to change to be accepted? Guess what? The religious people had no answer! It was for them!It's his righteousness that makes us whole in his presence. If someone asks me if I'm a christian, I say it depends on how you define it :)> Is blasphemy the definition of a christian acting in a way that would turn someone away from God because they do not feel worthy or could not live up to the law to be right with God?

  19. Gravatar
    Paintbrush

    Very interesting, but I find that it isn't Christians who are soooo condemning as you seem to believe, but it is "successful, established, 'good' people, but not --for heaven's sake--religious who are the most tsk, tsk, people ever. The media also likes to pull down people and expose their sinfulness and moral failings. Comcast Home Page headlines are heavy with celebrity failings than with international economic, military, and other significant news stories, for example.

  20. Gravatar
    Otto Beich

    Darin that was on of the most touching blogs ive ever read. it's got the aroma of jesus all over it. You're all heart brother and I love it.

  21. Gravatar
    Darren

    Wow! There was a whole lot of "I" in that post.
    It's not about us.

    Galations 5:16-26

  22. Gravatar
    Debbie

    I understand where you are coming from Darin and the reasons you would write such a post as this yet I could not say I 'loved it', because I didn't like it at all. I think it is a very fine line between what you hate and being just as critical and demanding. For me it is like all these people have swallowed a lie and are decieved and you are being very harsh and judgmental of them because Jesus was harshest with the religious - I dunno - I just think only He has the right to judge like that. Maybe I still have a ways to go till I get to the same place where I will sit when everyone else stands. I dunno - I just didn't like hearing you speak like this - I always felt you are better than that. On one hand you have the IC telling people all the hoops they must jump through after they are saved and here I read you telling everyone that they must jump through the love hoop in order to be a true child of God yet love is going to look fractious.

  23. Gravatar
    lionwoman

    Debbie, I think I understand what you're saying. My thought though, is that Darin isn't trying to be a role model, a leader or even a 'teacher.' More of a truth-uncoverer. So why not just glean what you find valuable truth and leave the rest? I find it totally puzzling that you interpret what Darin says as a hoop to jump through.

  24. Gravatar
    TLC

    Loved this, Darin. Great to have you blogging again! Also loved the use of Joel Osteen's photo so appropriately. I used to watch his show and hang on to every word. It took sooooo long to get his wrong promises about God out of my heart. I'm so glad I found you guys and replaced those lies with truth!

  25. Gravatar
    lionwoman

    Darin thanks, good food for thought. You know I'm not looking up to you to become more like you, which is what most 'speakers' or 'teachers' imply that we should do. I'm listening to what you have to say and trying to figure out how that can help me become more like ME.

  26. Gravatar
    Deb C.

    Darren (not the writer of this blog, but the guy who posted a few posts up. ARE YOU STINKING SERIOUS????? This blog was Darin Hufford telling why he does what he does. OF COURSE he's gonna use the word "I". Are you out of your friggen mind?? I don't know how you put up with people like this Mr. Hufford. You're my hero.

  27. Gravatar
    Dave

    Great article Darin, I wouldn't like or respect you any other way. Keeping it real my friend. Thank you.

  28. Gravatar
    Commenting

    Debbie,I am a free believer.I currently live with a man who is not my husband.I say the *uck word in my vocabulary at times.I sometimes doubt God is paying attention to me.I do not attend church.I sometimes think of sex. I do not always feel loving.I may even avoid people.God knows why.He knows the man I live with is my bestfriend who is helping me through a hard financial time with no strings attached.He knows I use the *uck word because my exhusband expected perfection from me and I'm breaking free from having to live in perfection.He knows I doubt his presence because I've experienced chronic pain that made me wonder how He would allow it. He knows my experience in church bruised my heart and it's taking time.He knows I'm waiting till marriage because I value myself but I still wonder.He knows I do not always feel loving because I felt so abandoned by people.From the outside,I may not look the part.I'm not expecting perfection from myself to be accepted by God.He loves me right now

  29. Gravatar
    Commenting

    I'm grateful for Darin. His imperfection lets me know I'm ok.

  30. Gravatar
    Debbie

    Lionwoman - I know Darin is not looking to be a role model and I wasn't saying he needs to be - I just don't get why he has to be so fracticious when he has the pure unadulterated truth as his current podcast claims. I am not seeking to change him only expressing my dislike of what he wrote.
    Commenting - same story except I didn't value myself enough to say no to sex with my unbelieving ex and the fallout from my church who disapproved of the relationship to begin with - I figured it didn't matter as long as we loved each other - turns out neither of us knows what love is. Yet forgiveness is the gift and I find that Jesus' perfection lets me know that I am ok not the latest fad of grace message preachers. Darin is nice to those who kiss his arse and mean to those he percieves as 'trouble' - which is people like me who express how a post really makes them feel. He has ripped me apart before. He goes on about the lies of the IC and yet in the first paragraphs here he is telling porkies..

  31. Gravatar
    Debbie

    of his own. The whole idea of Moses acting on his own about the divorce thing is not true and yet no-one mentions it. Why? Because the same IC disease gets carried wherever a person goes. Jesus didn't disagree about Moses actions because they were sanctioned by God - God allowed divorce because of the hardness of men's hearts and by publicly having to divorce what was going on in the dark in the privacy of the home is forced into the light of the community - why? You tell me! And it was also allowed BY GOD because the law was the shadow - the fullness of God's plan wasn't released until Jesus - now what does Jesus tell us? Divorce in the new covenant is prohibited - why? Because He indwells both of the believers and what God joins etc etc - The New Covenant is tougher than the Old and yes Darin says "But if you have love in your heart you won't want to ever even think of divorcing your partner" - so it damn sucks if you want to because it reveals in public that Christ does not dwell...

  32. Gravatar
    Debbie

    of his own. The whole idea of Moses acting on his own about the divorce thing is not true and yet no-one mentions it. Why? Because the same IC disease gets carried wherever a person goes. Jesus didn't disagree about Moses actions because they were sanctioned by God - God allowed divorce because of the hardness of men's hearts and by publicly having to divorce what was going on in the dark in the privacy of the home is forced into the light of the community - why? You tell me! And it was also allowed BY GOD because the law was the shadow - the fullness of God's plan wasn't released until Jesus - now what does Jesus tell us? Divorce in the new covenant is prohibited - why? Because He indwells both of the believers and what God joins etc etc - The New Covenant is tougher than the Old and yes Darin says "But if you have love in your heart you won't want to ever even think of divorcing your partner" - so it damn sucks if you want to because it reveals in public that Christ does not dwell...

  33. Gravatar
    jeremy

    I was at a mid week meeting at a church this week - it was not a church meeting but a meeting on Grief and Loss - yet the woman there made it a point to say "There won't be 'church bashing here tonight cos the church is God's people " - sounds right - yet in one statement had defined terms and cut off any one from revealing their pain - even their deepest pain. They confused the 'religious system' with the living people of God wherever that may be...
    I felt so hurt by this and it reminds me of why i haven't been to any IC meetings for a long long time....Any one with real pain is not welcome in most ICs....And i feel there are 2 emotions never welcome at 'church' - Sadness and Anger.
    and Questioning is rarely welcome.
    But your blog Darin helped me to see that i am accepted by God no matter what...Just at the moment i am too angry - 1 still with the loss of my father and also 2 - at the religious system which treats people as 'Borg drones' (ie star trek)

  34. Gravatar
    Debbie

    in your heart. And there is the hoop! We have made divorce ok because God loves us anyway and yet according to Jesus who has restored all things back to the beginning divorce is not ok, it is an indication that a person is not the believer they claim to be - so what ought the community do when people want divorce? How the heck should we know when we turn to Moses and not Jesus. In tying this up with the rest of Darin's post if a church tries to help a couple not get divorced they would be labelled pharasaical law keepers by Darin yet maybe just maybe the community wants to help the couple grow in Grace. Anyway I doubt anyone really gives a crap.

  35. Gravatar
    Debbie

    Jeremy I am sorry for your loss - I truly am - yet stick around and watch what happens to someone who questions a freebelievers thoughts such as I did with Darins take on Moses.

  36. Gravatar
    Dave

    Jeremy, welcome to the club my friend. Listen to some of Darins podcasts, and read the blogs, and if you would like, check out the forum as well. I am not connected in any way to this site, but I have found great help here and have met many new friends because of it. They are or have been in the same place as you, and I was also earlier this year. Much love to you my friend. Debbie, relax. I know Darin well enough to know he has no problem with people disagreeing with him, and he is just expressing his points of view. I think you have run into trouble because you are always attacking him. You don't seem to agree with anything he has to say, yet you are always here, dominating the discussion. Why don't you ignore him if you don't care for him?

  37. Gravatar
    Dale

    Trish, that is so cool! What a necessary ministry. BTW...I love Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, too!

  38. Gravatar
    Dale

    Jeremy, I couldn't agree with you more. Anger (unless it's "good, godly" anger, whatever that really means) and sadness are seen as proof that you're not casting your cares on Jesus or you're being chastised or God has "sent you to the desert." Usually, they just assume God's angry in my experience.
    In addition to what Dave mentioned, I also very highly recommend Darin's book, The Misunderstood God. Very good stuff!

  39. Gravatar
    Jeremyw

    Yes, i have been listening to some of the podcasts for about 3 months now and got The Misunderstood God late last year - great read!! that can be read over and over...

    Anger and Sadness are two emotions that are almost always shamed not just at the IC but in most of society...But one needs to be able to express them safely. Emotions are energy in motion, and it is important to be able to express sadness and anger so that one can be healed. The problem i found is that they are greatly shamed at many church meetings where the 'environment' is always about appearing 'happy'. I said in another post that many ICs are really 'Niceness Clubs' where the curreny is to appear nice at all costs.

  40. Gravatar
    lionwoman

    Debbie, I can see you have a lot of questions and important thoughts. I have had a technical problem on my end where I am usually unable to get on the forum these days... but I will try next time I am at the library. It's hard to have a discussion on a comment section. You do have some good points, although I'm not altogether clear on why you're so concerned about the divorce issue. If you're not currently married I'm not sure what difference it makes to you personally... God does not see divorced people as less-than either... do any of us perfectly abide in the Love? No. I'm wondering if part of the problem is you have a hard time giving yourself grace. Not trying to slam you, I have had many difficulties in this area myself.

  41. Gravatar
    john

    epic post. there are things that are concerning about what youve written but thats the beauty of the message... its not meant to be all slick and wow darin has it waxed just hang on his every word following him. That will lead people down a path you certainly dont want them to go down.
    We need to step away from the pulpit and just be real way more than we have been.
    People that demand the guru or speaker or whoever is faultless are looking to man not jesus. It becomes a vicious circle of setting people up to fail as well because christians are expected to have split personality or be secretive in order to be super spiritual in front of men, but normal back at home.
    I know you're not saying there isnt a place for sharing a well thought out message, like paul writing his epistles but if we look more carefully we can see the apostles as amazing as they were just lived life in full living colour before the community and when they didnt bad things happened.

  42. Gravatar
    Anthony Rose

    I like it, Darin, except I think you can't avoid being a role model, and good behaviour is still good, even if religious people imitate it, and bad behaviour is still bad, even if it's under grace. So it'd be better to just be yourself, and talk about your own and other's faults and what you mean, rather than demo bad behaviour gratuitously. That's going off the other side of the road.
    But I so agree with you and throughly enjoyed your post. I have so tried and tried...
    Ultimately, the point is, there are NO perfect people, and we all need to understand that God's grace is for our weakness: give ourselves and EVERYONE else some room to grow, and yet, still, grow. Don't throw the baby of sanctification out with the bath water of grace just because a lot of the church confuse the two, judge, exhort, press, pull, shout, and call us onwards. Chill. Graciously. REAL-ly. Truly, yourself, in Christ.

  43. Gravatar
    Anthony Rose

    I must share this as well:
    I used to samoke and couldn't quit. Three times over the years, having forgotten each time, I got so desperate I fell on my knees and begged God to deliver me. Each time I heard in my thoughts "My grace is sufficient for you.". The first time, I thought it was Shakespeare and was disgusted with my sibconscious for trying to pull a fast one. The second time, I remembered the first time and wondered. The third time, I knew it was in the Bible, so I realised it was God. I said, Ok, you've got a smoking Christian on your hands. Thought that'd get Him moving. But no. So, I gave up on giving up. Years later as I was about to light my pipe I got a vision. A silver ball dropped out of the ceiling and expanded as it fell until it hit me. In my mind's eye, I was in a dirty dingy submarine-like corridor with dirty unshaded lit light bulbs strung along the roof. It went on forever into a point of dark. To my right was a watertight door standing ajar. (to be cont.)

  44. Gravatar
    Anthony Rose

    Through that thick door I could see another parallel corridor, it was clean and bright. And I understood this message somehow:
    "I'm giving you the opportunity to give up smoking now, because you asked me. If you want to, you can go through that door now, and you will never smoke again. But I am only doing this because you asked. If you'd rather carry on smoking for the rest of your life, I DON'T MIND. I want you to know that. I really don't mind which you choose. Do whichever YOU'd prefer. But I also want you to now that if you do choose to give up now, you will NEVER smoke again."
    So I said thanks, put the pipe down, and left all the kit there. I knew if this wasn't God, I'd never last. The next 3 days got difficult. I kept on thinking about a small smoke to 'handle the withdrawal'. On the 3rd day, I gave in, left work at lunch time, only 5 minutes away, and picked up a Camel, kind of ignoring God and telling myself just one quick drag or tow or three. (final to be cont.)

  45. Gravatar
    Anthony Rose

    As the smoke hit my mouth and throat and nose, I suddenly realised two things: 1. I didn't like it, didn't need it after all, as if I had never smoked; and, God was talking. He said, verbally/telepathically, "You see, you don't need that. Now, listen to me. Take a deep breath. No, deeper than that. Now, you see how you feel? That's just how you feel when you take a drag, right? You see, smoking pushes you up a bit but then takes you DOWN BELOW YOUR NORMAL LEVEL, and you need another smoke just to feel normal again. Smoker's are actually living a sub-standard life most of the time, and just a standard life when they smoke. But I say this FYI only - I want you to know that you'll never smoke again." And since then I could light a smoke for you, never been tempted. The point of the story? It blew my mind open about God's grace. Don't sweat it if you can't do it. Stick with God's love. Let God love you and love him back. He'll sort it. (But still, don't rename it good either!)

  46. Gravatar
    Anthony Rose

    Hey, I swear I'm not normally a multi-poster. But this is so relevant too. When I got married I asked God if he wanted me to say anything in my speech. He said, "Yeah. Tell everyone that if they got hurt by the church, it wasn't me!"
    BTW In case anyone thinks I'm superspiritual to hear God, it ain't so at all. I struggle to pray and read my Bible. I did get the baptism of the holy spirit way back but it was a one-off. Then years I read Jackie Pullinger's Chasing the Dragon and tried to pray intongues again and I think it worked. But I'm not very good at being holy at all. I have done the most grievous things. Since then. I just thank God that He made a plan for people like me too. The Bible sees that even (biblival) fools will be able to walk in the Way. That's Jesus for you! Really loving!

  47. Gravatar
    Anthony Rose

    Okay, I admit I'm going too far now, but I just have to say this: I really LIKE Joel Osteen. He's nice. He admits he messes up, too. He reminds me that there's a heaven, and as I keep looking up, I move on into the light. So, I'm not so good at it? So what? He's not condeming me or making me feel bad. In fact, people criticise him for being too accepting! No, he cheers me up like Jesus cheers me up: by reminding me not to be afraid, but to trust. Do you know, "drippy sweet" is your own hole of condemnation? Seems we human beings can't move a step without falling into something!

  48. Gravatar
    Aida

    Jeremy, you’re right that anger and sadness needs to be expressed and I really appreciate that Darin has provided this site where we’re free to express our hurt and sorrow without being judged. The only time he puts a stop to it is when the comments become a personal attack so I’m not sure why Debbie would feel that Darin is mean to those who disagree with him. Being free to express your hurt in a healthy, healing manner is always permitted here. However, when it becomes destructive or abusive, Darin has to put a stop to it in order to maintain a safe place where everyone feel free to share. I’m sorry about your loss and I hope you’ll continue to share your sorrows with us as well as your joys. As Dave has pointed out, we also have a forum on this site and we’d love for you to join us there.

  49. Gravatar
    Debbie

    Thank you Anthony.

  50. Gravatar
    Aida

    Anthony, I think you’re right. I think in this post Darin made it sound like he's acting out a role of bad boy but I don’t believe that’s true. I believe he’s just being himself and himself tends to be a bit rough around the edges. In my opinion, he does know limits even though he may get close to the edge. However, I have noticed a tendency with some free believers to copy him thinking freedom means using off color language and saying anything you want. That’s not true. Being free is being yourself. I’ve known Darin for a number of years now and it would never occur to me to say what he does because that’s just not me. However, I love his heart since he’s willing to put himself out there knowing some will not understand.

  51. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Anthony don't confuse what I'm saying here with "bad behavior." Most of what Christianity considers "bad behavior" or sinful isn't sinful at all. I'm talking about openly being myself and not giving into the list of actions and practices that they've been convinced make a person holy. I'm not talking about purposefully sinning. If you will notice I used the worlds "considered sinful by traditional standards." That's a bit different than me openly sinning.

  52. Gravatar
    Anthony Rose

    Oh, I get you properly now. I haven't heard you speak so it was easy to misunderstand what you were saying. Thanks for clarifying.
    I do SO know what you mean now. I think I do the same thing. Break that mould, challenge that prejudice, sit at the sinner's table. Do you know what? 20 years ago God said to me, "I'd rather you didn't have a quiet time in the morning, you're too religious about it." And WOW! Since then I've really grown! I enjoy finding out more about him. He's become my best, best, best friend. Even though I can hardly hear him or live like him. I've even grown to (sorry ;-) LOVE the Bible! Some parts have become really precious to me. Where he shows how much he loves me.
    I'm talking too much. I've just never seen this expressed before.
    God bless you - and Joel! ;-)

  53. Gravatar
    James

    @Debbie: I'm not out to defend or descry anyone here but I'm wondering where you're getting the impression that Darin is telling people what they ought to do. I went back and reread the blog after reading your first post to see if i could see what you saw. From what I read, he is sharing his opinions about what HE sees and how HE deals with it and seeks to encourage those stuck in a broken system by getting beneath them to lift them up. Maybe I'm just completely misreading it but that's the impression I got when I read it. For what it's worth, I always enjoy your comments because they generally are not what I'm thinking and it challenges me to think further about something rather than just nodding my head and saying "Amen!"

  54. Gravatar
    jenny

    Actually Debbie, even Jesus allowed divorce for unfaithfulness so it is not entirely prohibited in the New testament. Now you got something wrong! I enjoy reading what you have to say but I sometimes think you do get just as prickly (is that the word for it?) as Darin can get!! (Sorry, Darin.) I reckon you two could have some pretty good face to face conversations. Hope you two don't mind me saying that. I guess this post and the podcasts may have sparked something in you Debbie that maybe others don't understand because they do not have your experiences and background.

  55. Gravatar
    jenny

    Anyway, I don't think the point here is to argue about nuances of scripture. Whether Moses said it or God said it, it was said. It probably was a negative thing really (it was done because of hard hearts) but other things can be done because of wounded hearts, confused hearts etc can't they? I don't mean straight out sinful things, but doing things differently that don't really matter. Isn't that what the post was about?

  56. Gravatar
    Bob

    Have you guys checked out www.joyrevolution.com?

    YOU WOULD LOVE THESE GUYS!!!

    Benjamin Dunn and John Crowder!! THEY ARE OFF THE HOOOOKK!!!!

    PS: Self-righteousness is the default mode of the human heart.

    To quote Martin Luther. The great reformationist.

  57. Gravatar
    JeremyW

    Thank you Aida
    I have breifly commented at the forum in the 'international free believerss section' (if i remember right) and have been listening to podcasts for a few months... don't know if i'll comment much though as i prefer real time conversation - typing takes a lot more effort.

  58. Gravatar
    Debbie

    I am beginning to think that my responses is actually a cultural thing. I am not an American and I don't think like one so sometimes I read or hear stuff that I respond to from where I exist. I also know that most of my thoughts come from what my expectations of how a person full of The Holy Spirit would act and that is solely mine to own, I honestly do have to deal with 'my expectations' of what a Spirit filled person would say and do. And I am not one so I can't rely on me. I also struggle with why it is ok to put down anyone who has been deceived and when does each person take sole responsibility for allowing themselves to be deceived. Why is it ok to put down people who sincerely believe they are Christians? I struggle to understand. If a person is lied to and following a religion rather than 'the message' is it truly ok to be mean about them or am I unable to separate 'the system' from the people? Yes lionwoman I do ask myself lots of questions and sometimes I ask them out loud.

  59. Gravatar
    Anthony Rose

    On reflection (and I PROMISE to shut up after this!), I think you're implying (WITHOUT MEANING TO) that long worship, prayer, bible study, and clean language to name a few are part of a "neat little religious row of spiritual duckies". But, if we are not enjoying these things, something is broken, yes? AND, that's OKAY! I AGREE with you that making these things 'minimal standards' and rules turns them into a different thing, iron burdens that become a 'Let's pretend' which many unsuspectingly break their backs over following religiously. And you are doing a good job to break that prison open, it seems. But when these things are not religiously followed, but enjoyed as we grow to desire them, they become living blessings in the spirit. So, the issue is not these things, but that we make them law. These good and helpful things make wonderful servants, but lousy masters. The duckies are not the things themselves, but the laws we make out of them. We are on the same page I think.

  60. Gravatar
    Anthony Rose

    @Debbie: Darin is not criticising, as far as I can see, but breaking through fences which God never put there, to show people how a life of grace can be won even by weak sinners. The fence which the churches put up to keep sin out, also keeps the sinners out. Let the sinners in, let them learn as Jesusleads them, be gracious about it, know that you are accepted while you learn despite your many faults. These are not criticisms, they are a call to stop criticism, and to know that weak as you are, you're ok. Darin's tone is not a judgement or mocking, but a shock tactic, to BREAK that FENCE, not to condemn. To shock people into realising that Jesus never said that you had to do that to be saved.
    (I broke my promise - couldn't help it!) Now I shut up.

  61. Gravatar
    Carlos the wetback

    Hey Debbie, this guys is just a businessman selling his own experience. He is full of himself.
    Uh Darin, You are so cool.

  62. Gravatar
    Ian

    I don't comment here often, no longer listen to every podcast and although I used to contribute to the forum I decided it was time to take a break from the many detailed and sometimes to me convoluted conversations. I can agree with Debbie's statement about coming to grips with the American mindset. We speak roughly the same language but culturally and socially there is a huge divide between the U.S. and countries like Australian. Also, I think we Australians carry our own baggage coming from convict roots. Our nation was based on the ejected and unwanted morally suspect from Britain's penal system. Our beginnings were not based on some glorious religious ideal but antipathy towards systems, governments, power structures and a scepticism towards the powerful and successful. I think as a people we can also be brash, uncouth and sometimes in your face. That being said sometimes I am a little taken back at how comfortable Americans are at letting it all hang out there.

  63. Gravatar
    Ian

    But knowing those significant differences can help to ameliorate perceptions about appropriate communication. When feeling dissonance about specific statements I tend to take my queue from other responses on this site from folks who do live within the same cultural and social milieu.

    In case my comments about pulling back from the Free Believers site might be misconstrued I chose to pull back from not only this site but also from many others. In fact I deleted my "Faith" bookmark folder and stopped reading Christian books in order to be silent and discover my own direction. The conversations from Darin, Aimee, Amy and Robert have been helpful and occasionally continue to be so but they are only an adjunct to my developing confidence. I enjoy what they have to say but occasionally things are said where I have a different view. And that's perfectly normal I think.

  64. Gravatar
    Aida

    Jeremy, that's perfectly okay. I'm just glad you found us and we'll still be there if you ever need us.

  65. Gravatar
    two mountains

    wow! i found my twin! mindset that is /praise God
    and piss off more the pharisees! let love flood the hopeless! preach Christ amen bro!

  66. Gravatar
    Ransom

    I would suggest that what you described is the very heart of elitism. Creating a spiritual standards so lofty that only a select few have attained it, and then imposing it on everyone else. The lie is, not even the select few have attained it. God meant to love the masses as His own. He even came dressed as a common carpenter who "had no beauty or majesty." I guess Joel Osteen covers the beauty and majesty for him! LOL. Well written, Darin.

  67. Gravatar
    Ransom

    I have noticed that there were a few times where God defaulted to Moses. God had an original course of action, Moses presented his case to God and God let Moses have his way instead. It seems that God is into relationship after all.

  68. Gravatar
    Debbie

    Thanks for helping word what I was trying to say Ransom. I read Darins blog up there, and I have heard him allude to it on podcasts, that Moses took liberty with the laws without God's imput and my understanding is that Moses did nothing of the sort. Whatever Moses wrote down in those long chapters in Dueteronomy or Numbers or wherever he wrote it - Exodus even, whatever he writes that comes after the Ten Laws was also stuff God wanted him to write down. I know for some it is a matter of me splitting hairs or that I am arrogant or whatever. For me it is just a matter of telling the truth. There is so much truth in the things Darin says so it does pain me when he stretches it to say something it isn't. Yes our hearts are hard without the indwelling presence of God being awakened within each other and divorce is just one symptom of people without the Spirit. I figure we are meant to help people find the Spirit within them and if we maintain the attitude that if they don't get it they...

  69. Gravatar
    Debbie

    never will then I am lost too.

  70. Gravatar
    Debbie

    never will then I am lost too.

  71. Gravatar
    Ransom

    I wonder if there was a writer of the Bible today, what kind of "law" or scripture they would write to our world and our generation with the problems and such we face today.

  72. Gravatar
    Ransom

    I wonder if there was a writer of the Bible today, what kind of "law" or scripture they would write to our world and our generation with the problems and such we face today.

  73. Gravatar
    Disenfranchised

    heres a song from my generation-which I have been thinking about for the last few days -
    Silent Running by Mike and the Mechanics
    Take the children and yourself
    And hide out in the cellar
    By now the fighting will be close at hand
    Don't believe the church and state
    And everything they tell you
    Believe in me, I'm with the high command
    Can you hear me, can you hear me running?
    Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?Can you hear me, can you hear me running?
    Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?
    There's a gun and ammunition
    Just inside the doorway
    Use it only in emergency
    Better you should pray to God
    The Father and the Spirit
    Will guide you and protect from up here
    Can you hear me, can you hear me running?
    Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?
    Swear allegiance to the flag
    Whatever flag they offer
    Never hint at what you really feel
    Teach the children quietly
    For some day sons and daughters
    Will rise up and fight while we stood still.

  74. Gravatar
    DISENFRANCHISED

    you dont know me but I know your father and he wanted me to give you this
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep7W89I_V_g

  75. Gravatar
    Barb

    I like Debbie. Love w/o "truth" isn't really love. Debbie is just asking Darin to be truthful. It's always interesting how Darin gives his opinions w/o scripture. Oprah loves people, but she isn't a christian (by her own admission). God could "not" love us into heaven. If that was the case, everyone would go there. And if Darin thinks the IC makes being a "christian" hard, he should read what Jesus said. Salvation is so hard, only God can do it. Not us.

  76. Gravatar
    Ian

    Barb this a question is for my own benefit as it is something that I just don't get. What do you think is the most important ... caring / loving other people in practical ways which make a difference or getting your ticket punched so that you get to heaven? One seems of vital importance while the other self serving.

  77. Gravatar
    Dave

    Barb, everything Darin says, and his opinions have been formed in large part by scripture. Read his blog on the importance of the Bible. When you say "always", that is just not a factual statement. Jesus did say There are 2 commandments Love God and Love each other. Darin believes that, and does. I do too. We (people who consider ourselves free believers) try and follow those commandments. God does love all of us, however in my opinion, he wants us to love him too. He also wants us to love others. I have never heard Darin say anything to the contrary.

  78. Gravatar
    Dave

    Sorry for speaking for speaking for someone else, but I have listened to and read most of the things he has put out, so he will correct me, I am sure , if I am wrong

  79. Gravatar
    Barb

    Ok Dave, listen to Darin and I quote. " I have found that when I live from the heart and stop meticulously following Scripture; Scripture starts following me. This is the place I believe that we are supposed to be in, in New Testament times. God is ready and waiting to write the book of Darin, and that cannot happen until Darin lives from his heart and knows truth from within because that’s where the kingdom of heaven exists."

    I think Darin has this backwards. I have never heard Darin explain the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have heard him explain the gospel of his imagination, but not the Gospel of the Bible.

  80. Gravatar
    Aida

    Dave, you are correct. Darin spent many years reading and studying the Bible so even though he may not give chapter and verse, what he says is based on scripture. It really isn’t necessary to back up everything that's said with scripture. I’ve found that truth tends to be easily recognizable and, when I have a doubt about something that’s been said, I’m perfectly capable of looking it up for myself. I really appreciate that Darin treats us as adults who don’t need to be spoon fed.

  81. Gravatar
    Ransom

    Barb.That's because "You search the scriptures because in them ye think ye have life." The Bible is not life. ALL the Bible does is point TO that Life who is a person. If you live your life in a book, it will be two dimensional. Live your life in the actual person of Christ and you will see it transform!

  82. Gravatar
    Ransom

    Hint: the word Gospel means "good news." Everything I hear Darin SAY is good news. The Gospel is interwoven with this man's very life!

  83. Gravatar
    Ian

    I guess I asked my question earlier because I think I understand the difference between simple caring having inestimable worth and operating from a legal, deterministic world view. For example, I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian environment where men (including my dad) were biblical literalists. Women had wear hats / scarves in order to comply with one of the Apostle Paul's obscure references. We complied with the law but Dad was such a harsh man that to this day I have very little contact. I'm not saying that I'm the greatest dad to my two girls or even a fantastic husband but I do try to love my girls to the best of my ability. Not because of a biblical imperative based on a bunch of verses but because I care for their wellbeing and want to be part of improving their lives. This is why for me quoting verses means very little when stacked up against a determined effort to see the best in others and to be part of that process. I think there is a huge difference between the two.

  84. Gravatar
    Aida

    Ian, I can relate to what you’re saying. Several weeks ago, I flew to Phoenix and spent a weekend with Darin and his family and the love I saw in that home was amazing. I was a recipient of that love but what I found amazing was the love each family member had for the others. It was obvious to me that no one was on their best behavior. This is just the way they normally are. During that weekend, I don’t think we ever discussed a Bible verse or even looked at a Bible yet I saw the Bible come alive in that family. I left that home transformed by that love and now I see myself responding to my husband and my family in a new way. I really feel like my marriage is being transformed.

  85. Gravatar
    Connie

    Keep on keeping it real, Darin. I love it and totally relate. I know others will too.

  86. Gravatar
    Truthseeker

    You know what. I have just about had a gutful of the usual 'Darin' worship!!! Wake up people! You have replaced Jesus Christ with Darin Hufford. You can say he is not a 'leader' and is not telling you how to think, all you want, the reality is everytime Darin writes or says something, his faithful followers go 'ga ga' over it as if he is God Himself. Do you know how wrong and dangerous that is? You follow the gospel according to Darin, and it is downright dangerous. This whole thing has become a cult that feeds Darin's ego and need to have a whole bunch of gullible humans hanging off his every word. Get out while you can, and return to the Lord Jesus Christ, and God's revealed Will in the BIBLE.

  87. Gravatar
    Dave

    Tuthseeker, I love and believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord, my friend, and my Savior. Darin is a friend I respect. There is nothing wrong with telling someone that you think they do a good job. You ever tell your pastor that he does a good job, and that you admire him? I also read my Bible every day. I would suggest to you that if you can't stand Darin or this site, then why do you come here.? Do you have leaders in your church? Are you one of them? Relax my friend. Most, if not all of us here Love Jesus, we also like to read other peoples views on God. Darin is a good writer and a good person, who also loves Jesus. We are all fine, but thanks for worrying about us my brother in Christ.

  88. Gravatar
    Barb

    Hey Truthseeker, Darin doesn't even know who killed Jesus or how a dead sinner rises from the dead. It's sad.

  89. Gravatar
    Dave

    Barb, Why so hateful toward a fellow believer? Do you believe in Jesus's message of love? 1 Corinthians 13 verse 4, love is kind, It is not rude, we are nothing without love Paul says. Jesus says in the gospels to love others. Paul warns us not to attack fellow believers, or even non-believers, but to be gentile and kind toward one another. I dont understand why you are attacking this man.

  90. Gravatar
    Barb

    Dave, it is not hateful if you tell the "truth". Read Darin's post on "who killed Jesus". He doesn't have a clue. I guess historical christianity had it all wrong and Darin found some golden tablets out there in Arizona.

  91. Gravatar
    Dave

    Barb, Exactly who's historical christianity are you referring too? Constantine's? Luther's? Do YOU know "who" killed Jesus? Was it Pilate, Caiphus? The centurions at the cross? God? us? Read your post again. That doesn't sound hateful or hurtful? "Darin found golden tablets out there in the desert in Arizona" I wont respond anymore, because I dont understand your disrespect, and desire to be right. I find your responses to be sad and attacking, coming from a "christian" I would guess?

  92. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Barb, I've had it with your attacking comments. You're officially banned from this site for the next six months. It would be one thing if you were offering another opinion, but you're clearly here to just rile people up and spread hate. We don't tolerate that here. You've been banned in the past for this and it's happening again now. Anything you post will be deleted immediately.

  93. Gravatar
    Robert Underwood

    Darrin, somehow I think we are identical twins. The life you live is the life that has been stirring in my heart for several years now! Every once in awhile aspects of this life do come to surface, but immediately condemned by "loved"ones. Darrin, I am an American and am one of the 14 participants of the fbn from Germany. If you are ever in the Stuttgart; Germany area, I'd love to meeet you. Saying hi to you personally would probably be the highlight of my year.

  94. Gravatar
    Tam

    Be careful Darin... you will be held accountable for what you teach. I fully agree with Barb, although not with her tone. The Bible warns against false prophets, I would hate for you to fall into that category.

  95. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Tam do you know what I teach?

  96. Gravatar
    Tam

    I'll be honest and say I'm not a total fundi, but have been reading some of your blogs as I have friends who follow you.

  97. Gravatar
    myso

    Anthony Rose, I love your comments. I love the things God told you. I'm glad you've got nothing in common with goldtoldme-ism (hope you know what i'm talking about), cause I can just sense it from the way you write. It's just the same God I know, thank you for sharing your experiences. I wish everyone who ever hears God in the way you experienced was like you. I feel you're on the same boat, not above others. People who publicly say that God told them something, often either openly lie, or make you feel like they're extra turbo spiritual and you're nothing. You mention these experiences as a fellow brother and it resonates with how I know God. So I don't mind you spammed this comment thread. ;) Love ya!

  98. Gravatar
    myso

    Tam, the Bible teaches that "The tree is known by it's fruit. Bad tree cannot bring good fruit." Do you know the fruit of what Darin is doing? The Bible says the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, peace, unity and joy. Check out the comments and changes in peoples lives and you'll see what the fruit of this "ministry" is. If you'll be honest, you'll find out the truth.

  99. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Well I appreciate the concern but I'm seriously not worried about falling into the "false prophet category." Though many people will call me a false prophet, it's the least of my concerns.

  100. Gravatar
    myso

    Darin, I wrote that for Tam, cause I know the fear and worries of people who are told about false prophets and are quite suspicious whether someone is or isn't one. I know what that fear feels like, bacause one is sort of pushed towards seeing others either black or white (false/ not false) , like saved and unsaved. And well, as far as I'm concerned you don't even claim to be a prophet, there's no way to categorize you, and you're so truthful and honest that the word false is a joke when connected to you. You're just Darin, a fellow dude, from Florida, what else? When I read your first blogs some 3 years ago, I, too, was suspicious. I projected all my previous experiences with super holy people on you and read things you didn't mean to write in between the lines. That's part of the process of healing. When people judge you because of one post, it's like judging God based on one verse. Nonsense. Who's honest will find the truth about everything. That's about it. See ya! ;-)

  101. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Robert Underwood I would LOVE to come there and meet you. Let's talk about making that happen some day. If I have a twin WE MUST MEET.

  102. Gravatar
    Brettact2

    How sad. People are so afraid of everything that they attach anyone who differs. Darin offered a thoughtful commentary on a provocative Scripture that has always had profound implications. IF you found a flaw in his discussion, please explain it. This is a conversation. Warnings about error in methodology should be made, IF you can show a consistant mishandling of facts. THEN if the person you are in conversation with doesn't adequately address the concerns you raised, you have something to pray about: God, how do you want me to handle this? IF you think you are functioning as a prophet, Scriptural prophetic ministry is contextualized in a dialogue relationship. The last stage is provocative rant, as a last attempt to get those proven wrong to repent. It's LOVE. But just to attach people because you are afraid to think about the facts is worship of a wrong god. The Much Afraids will always criticize the Honest for not worshiping their escapist illusions. Try truth IF you want freedom.

  103. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    I appreciate you Myso. You have a good heart my friend. You're right; I've never called myself a prophet in my life. I suppose we all are in one way or another, but I've personally never made that claim about myself. I prefer "dude".

  104. Gravatar
    Carlos the Wetback

    YOU ARE AWESOME DUDE!!

  105. Gravatar
    jenny

    Hi Ian
    I suspect I came from the same denomination down under . . . wasn't born into it but went there to a crusade as a teenager - a long story.

  106. Gravatar
    Robert D. Underwood

    Darin, I am kinda alone here as far my beliefs go. I don't know any free believers here and don't really know how to go about finding any without totally coming out. Just figured you'd know more free believers than I do, and maybe one day would meet up with them. And that's would be my way of meeting you personally! But the next time I am in California, I will somehow try to make it out to Arizona.

  107. Gravatar
    brettact2

    Hey Robert, there is a section in the Forums just for that purpose. You can find other freebelievers in your area.

  108. Gravatar
    Dale

    Darin, most of the attacks here seem like a coordinated effort among fundamentalists who probably won't go to the restroom without first confirming whether God addressed that specific need for that specific time in the Bible. They most likely think they are serving the Lord by attacking you in a most vile manner. Very Pharisiacal of those fine, God-fearin' folk. I doubt seriously if they've read The Misunderstood God; probably afraid that it would challenge their faith and God will rain down sulfur and brimstone on them. YES, I AM ANGRY! I had to put up with you fundamentalist types all my life! I was in the SBC from birth until a couple of years ago. I am now 47. YES, I WAS SAVED AT AGE 12, so don't quote "church sign" theology to me about how going to church doesn't save you. I was very actively involved...mostly because I dearly did not want my family or myself to go to hell and believe me, I learned to hate myself quite proficiently for what a horrible, terrible sinner I was.

  109. Gravatar
    Dale

    I also, unfortunately, learned to hate God. I jumped through the hoops, I tried my hardest(yeah, I asked the Holy Spirit to please help me to not sin, so shut-up about that)and "God" answered by basically all but destroying my family and me. Not just a temporary set-back. WE LOST EVERYTHING! The God who said he would provide everything we needed yanked the damn rug right out from under my family, left us destitute and desparate, and continually rained down crisis after crisis for the next ten years. Normally, I would say I wouldn't wish what happened to us on my worst enemy but when I hear the crap you fundamentalists spew, I really wish it would. I would like to see how your "faith" would withstand. I'd love to see you begging God to please tell you what is unconfessed in your life, who you haven't forgiven, praying hours at a time, reading the bible over and over and not getting a thing out of it other than you're scum and God very was very reluctantly sacrificed his son because you

  110. Gravatar
    Dale

    certainly don't deserve it and he made no bones about it! I would really like to see how you could go through what my family has been through and not grow to hate a God who thinks nothing of dumping Heaven's bedpans on you while freely, and generously, blessing so many others who barely, don't, or don't care to know he exists! You see, I used to spout the same stuff at men like Darin just as you are now. "Read his book? Hell no! The Lord would surely punish me even more! I just know it's wrong because of some posts I've read here!" Well fundamentalists, let me tell you what Darin did. He set everything straight for me. I found a brother who identified with me, who understood my struggle, who explained that the "god" I was serving was not THE ONE AND ONLY GOD who loves us with a love we can't even comprehend, who explained that the Bible most certainly ain't worthless, but points to a Savior who WILLINGLY laid His life down for me out of love, not out of obligation.

  111. Gravatar
    Dale

    Thank you, Darin. No, I never ever ever thought you were "adding" to the Gospel (um, that means "Good News" although you fundamentalists seem to think the Good News is that we can continue to act like Pharisees)nor did I consider you a prophet of some wacko New Age religion. We've never met (ok, you did friend me on Facebook, LOL), but you are a dear, dear brother who has helped lift the weight of many tons of condemnation off of my shoulders. Although I'm really still just in the process of getting my bearings, I feel like I'm finally pointed in the right direction; you have really pointed me toward Jesus. For you fundamentalists who insist on gang-banging (did I really say that??)this forum, I am sorry for my vitriol and please, don't bother looking up a response in the scriptures because you can make scripture support anything you want and I'm just not interested in that anymore. For those who aren't fundies, I apologize for the multi-post length of my response. Peace.

  112. Gravatar
    Dale

    Tam quoted: "I'll be honest and say I'm not a total fundi, but have been reading SOME (emphasis mine) of your blogs as I have friends who follow you." Tam, at least you are honest. I wanted to react angrily here, but I've already done that above. Tam, please, open your heart and put aside all preconceived notions of what the fundamentalists insist on. I'm glad you're not a total fundi. Having said that, do some research of where so much of fundamentalist interpretation of the scripture originated. Yes, they may tell you that they take the Bible completely and utterly literal, but they do interpret, usually in a way that supports the necessity of the institutional church and excludes billions from the grace (unmerited favor, but the unmerited thing seems to go to the wayside with them) of God because they just can't get things right. While you're at it, take a look at where Darin came from...he was a pastor in the fundamentalist institutional church and saw things just weren't right.

  113. Gravatar
    Carlos the Wetback

    I love my children without condition, and I am only an ordinary man. This Jesus thing is so simple, everything is by His grace, and as a good Father, He loves us in different ways, and deals with us according to our needs, because His love is perfect. He understands very well that all of us, including Darin, are pieces of crap that need his precious LOVE. I don't pretend to have a formula. All I know is that HIS LOVE IS STRONGER THAN ANYTHING. He decided to love me, and that's why I love people, even the christians that make distinction of people according to borders made by men. HIS LOVE IS SWEET!!

  114. Gravatar
    Debbie

    I think God understands that we are people stuck in crap - not that we are crap - He thought we were worth dying for - I don't think we truly begin to live or love until that is settled. 'The Amazing Rescue Of A Creation Stuck In Crap'. Admitting your in crap is the first step. Yet harder when the crap looks like gold.
    @Dale - so glad you got that off your chest. :)

  115. Gravatar
    Carlos the Wetback

    You are boring.

  116. Gravatar
    Debbie

    Your welcome.

  117. Gravatar
    Ian

    Carlos - just a friendly tip mate. It is always good to respect others and what they say. To say "He decided to love me, and that's why I love people" (in your comment above) and then to tell Deb what she wrote is boring not a kind thing to do. Kind words make others feel good but putting people down serves no purpose. What you wrote in your earlier comments was great so I was a bit surprised to see your comment to Debbie.

  118. Gravatar
    Dale

    Barb, I almost took the bait. Almost responded to your ad hominem attack. Ain't gonna do it. Everything I had to say was said above and I meant every bit of it. But I'm really wondering whether you are a Bible-thumping fundamentalist (thought it was kind of funny I didn't mention you by name, yet you answered to the criticism, albeit in a most illiterate way) or just another damn troll/computer nerd. Bye Bye.

  119. Gravatar
    Dale

    By the way, Barb, you may feel much more at home here: http://www.fundamentalforums.com/ . I believe now what I believe. Most people here will say the same thing. Your coming here dragging the same old crap many of us had listened to for decades isn't going to change that. The Crusades are over; give it up.
    You know the difference between you and me, Barb? Respect. I would never go to the website I pasted above and flame everyone I disagreed with. You, on the other hand...

  120. Gravatar
    Dale

    Barb, I apologize for the tone toward you and the name-calling. I now see the context of that post and understand. Please understand also: there is a common thread for most of us who go to this website regularly and that is we've been burnt and hurt by the institutional church. We're not newbie believers in Christ. When someone attacks the teaching here, when someone tells us that we're wrong and will pay for it in the end notwithstanding the fact that they are coming from the place that hurt us in the first place...yeah, I'm going to get defensive. Obviously it seems I was having a bad day there. But c'mon, people accusing us of worshiping Darin or seeing him as a new times prophet?

    I see the same on fundamentalist forums...trolls and angry non-believers attacking those who want a place where they can have discussion and fellowship. I would never do that and it gets under my skin when I see it happen.
    Again, Barb, I apologize to you and to all the others whom I have offended.

  121. Gravatar
    Manfred

    Mate, I'm sorry but you are way off. It is people like you that has caused the collapse of the church to be apart from this world. The main reason people stay away because they expect, if they were to come to church, something better then the world. You are part of this world with no desire to change. If Jesus was dwelling in you, you would find coarse jokes immediately repulsive because the Spirit of Christ would not allow it. So you are very far removed even from remotely being a Christian. Someway had so say it!! Wake up before you carry any more to the eternal darkness with you!

  122. Gravatar
    Ian

    Hi Manfred. I'm not a Free Believer but I do get value from some of the materials here. I've met many people in and outside of what you would call the church and kindness, compassion and simple friendship are not constrained by what denomination you attend. Perhaps God is big enough to look into the interior of our hearts / psyches to see the true person? Perhaps external show or religious behaviour is a poor indicator of who and what a person is? For people who come and read these materials I have confidence that they are able to determine whether or not they are helpful for them or a hindrance. One of the aspects of institutionalised thinking that I experienced is that it devalues people and does not think people are mature enough to see what is helpful and what is not. And yet most of us have responsible careers and complex family lives which we handle. So all I can say is that I have confidence that people are smart enough to make up their own minds.

  123. Gravatar
    Aida

    Ian, you’ve said it well. Manfred, God isn’t distracted by outward appearances but he looks at the heart and I can assure you Darin has a beautiful heart. I’m a free believer who doesn’t curse or use coarse jokes because I feel God has made me free to be myself. I choose to not do those things not because of some religious law that says I can't but I choose to not do those things because they’re just not me. At one time, like you, I would have been offended but I’ve come to know Darin personally and admire him. If you would only take the time and make the effort to listen to him with your heart instead of with a religious mindset, you would see and hear his heart of love. That’s why people are so drawn to him and his ministry.

  124. Gravatar
    Jim

    I've not read one of these for a while. Kinda like Ian. What a great blog to come back on!

  125. Gravatar
    FelixLucid

    I can't even read your guys' posts without being blown away by your depth of understanding and your realness. Thanks to Darin for posting this, and thanks to all of you for commenting.

    PS: This is the "no-religion" generation and the only thing that can compete with the rise of popularity of new age is the unadulterated truth of God's Grace.

  126. Gravatar
    Twin Stars

    wow what a lot of words , wow have you missed the sky and and the waterfalls ,big tall tress moving with the wind in sounds that speak of something you once knew ;there the canyon divides the time and how far is wide ; in hearts wondering the lack of true connect ; or did we sit in circle round the fire and the skin was painted like the ground in the Glyphs of the language of Light ; hope staggers under the colonizers children s weight the land cries out for release ,who gets its strength ? soft colors in the sunset say promises are ready to find a home ,Mountain springs hidden on the dark side of the moon leave only a heaven ward view and dreams take on the muses in there new clothes wore by the searchers ....

  127. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    uuhhhh.............yea......what you said:-)

  128. Gravatar
    dj

    Never apologize to fundies they are heartless bastards

  129. Gravatar
    Doug in Denver

    Great Post Darin. In a way I understand where you are coming from when you demonstrate a behavior that is counter church culture. You are communicating that it is OK to be free and be who you are. I did not interpret your behavior as sinning, but others may think it is and judge you that way. I used to be so bound up with religion that if I saw a believer have a glass of wine or a beer I immediately judged that as wrong according to the Bible. But what I have come to understand the Bible does not prohibit the use of alcohol, just excessiveness and drunkenness it frowns upon. I guess what I am saying is we have more liberty to be ourselves than we may ever know, but we should not let our liberty serve as a stumbling block to others. I feel we should be a good example and respect others beliefs and not try to purposely ruffle their feathers. The most important lesson is for me to be me and for you to be you, but we should conduct ourselves in a manner that well represents the Lord's body

  130. Gravatar
    Doug in Denver

    Oh, one more comment in regard to Truthseekers comments of 10 November. Truthseeker, you need to wake up. Just because we agree with Darin on a few issues doesn't make us out to replace God with Darin. Do you agree with your pastor, teacher, elder, whatever? Does that make you out to replace God with them? No, it doesn't. That is a pretty harsh accusation you made. If I disagree with Darin, I will tell him I do. Most people do disagree from time to time and don't blindly follow his teachings. What is dangerous are your attitude, fearful control, manipulation, and wrong assumptions concerning God's people. I have never left a message to another poster to bring correction, but dude or dudette you are so wrong. And the only one playing God around here is you. Peace OUT.

  131. Gravatar
    Dave S

    Oh man! Sharing one's honest thoughts must always be seen as heresy (if not in accord with the thoughts of the listener/reader)? Are you kidding? I may not agree with everything Darin writes, but I do appreciate the fact that his writing provokes me to ponder over his ideas. For goodness sakes people this is great discussion among fellow believers. Uh . . . fellowship, if you will. I only wish we could all me up at my local brew pub and continue our exchanges face to face over a cold, hand-crafted ale. God bless you, Darin, my brother in Christ. We are free indeed and children of the Most High. Now, how cool is that?

  132. Gravatar
    brad

    At the beginning of this blog you state that Moses took the liberty after coming down from the Mountain to change the law concerning divorce. Could you state what law Moses changed and where I may read that law as delivered by God to Moses?

  133. Gravatar
    brad

    I have another observation. Barb was banned for being a hater. DJ on Dec. 8th gets a pass. Please square calling people "heartless bastards" with love.

  134. Gravatar
    Michael

    Darin, this was your best blog ever! Reading this I actually GET IT... makes me also realize how backwards most churches have it, and it makes me say, "NO WONDER CHRISTIANITY IS FAILING....THEY ARE DOING THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT CHRIST'S DEATH MEANT!!! All they do is teach how to follow rules and give glory to God like he's some kind of insecure egomaniac! How refreshing this blog was! Kudos Darin!

  135. Gravatar
    Leisa

    I am suprised this blog is labeled knowing your generation.We have a generation of children ripped apart by divorce. I am one of them. Four times my mother divorced with multiple boyfriends in between. I was sacrified to each new man in her life. Yea. Isn't that awesome God lowered the standard so children can be lost with a warped view of Father God and family. I don't know what your celebrating, because my heart weeps. I was so lost and had no where to belong. Thank God, Jesus stepped into my life in a real and profound way. Divorce is a stumbling block to the little ones. And, by the way, I have been married for 23 years. Not cause it wasn't easy to do what I had been taught by my mother. Because the God in me, let me know this is not my way.

  136. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Was it divorce that ripped you apart or your mothers selfishness?

  137. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Leisa my guess is that you're surprised this blog is labeled, "Knowing your Generation," because you stopped reading after the third or forth paragraph. This blog isn't about divorce. If you had of read all the way through, you would know that.

  138. Gravatar
    Leisa

    I read the whole blog. Religious vs free thinking believer being revelant to this generation. I guess I don't understand the Moses thing then and how that relates to being a follower of Christ. Lowering a standard doesn't make something more revelant or applicable. The subject was actually their hard heartedness. I believe in loving the sinner, which I can agree with Paul, I am a chief sinner. No one sins in a vaccum. God doesn't mince words with me. When I sin, he convicts me. It's not about being shiny clean. It's about whatever you do to the least of these brethen, you do it unto me. To answer about what ripped me apart. Both my parent were selfish and so am I. I just will call my crap what it is and take it to Jesus for forgiveness and allow him to transform my life. My friend Danielle told me you like to stir the pot, but you are a very loving person. I kinda get what you are saying, but I can leave the rest that I don't agree with. Cheers.

  139. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    It's not about lowering a standard. It's about what matters more to you; the standard or the person. What catches your attention first? What do you defend first? Who is your allegiance too? The standard is nothing more than a raw principal that should manifest naturally when love is present. Following the standard, however DOES NOT prove that love is present. A couple may never divorce their entire lives, but that doesn't mean they love each other. If they stay together for 50 years in a loveless marriage and then die, there is no prize in heaven for following the "no divorce" standard because they actually BROKE the heart of the standard. The standard wasn't to NOT divorce. The standard was to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

    The question is whether or not your eyes are on the standard or on the person. My father leaving me almost killed me as a child. I know what it's like. Trust me. My point is that it wasn't the divorce that hurt me. It was the absence of love.

  140. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    The Moses thing relates to being a follower of Christ in that Moses wasn't a follower of LAW - he followed his heart. Rather than focus on the letter of the law, Moses focused his eyes on hurting people and made decisions based on that. No one else at that time had the guts to do that.

    Being a follower of Christ IS NOT about not sinning. It's NOT about following the rules. It's about loving people and following your heart.

  141. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    I don't know which Danielle you are friends with (I know about 20) but I'd like to say that she is wrong. I don't like to "stir the pot." It is my aim to destroy the pot altogether because from where I sit I can see that the pot is full of death. Stirring it would only make it more deadly.

  142. Gravatar
    Leisa

    I think when I look at things, I try to see the heart of God and I do see love. Tons of it and overwhelming and sometimes unbelievably so. See, I deal with people in the trenches. People who if they continue in their lifestyle will most likely die. I watched my father die from his addiction and I watch many people I love die from addiction. Do I love them. Yes, but if you continue down this road there will be great consequences. I embrace them like my own children. We give them family they have never had, but my children know I love them and yet I will not condone their sin. Go, and sin no more was Jesus's frequent statement. Love and truth working together. Last, interesting note. Why didn't Moses get to go to the promise land? Oh, he disobeyed God and misrepresented God to the people. Apparently, God thought that was a big deal. These are written as examples.

  143. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    http://freebelievers.com/blog-entry/beating-the-rock

  144. Gravatar
    Gary T

    Religions are all Man-made.

    Our religion should not consist of a lengthy list of man-made rules, or be mainly composed of ceremonies, sermons, and church attendance, but rather, it should be more like a network of positive relationships, a community. We can make this world a better place, not be forcing our man-made religions or religious rules on others, but by sharing our kindness and helpfulness with others, brightening their little corner of this dark world as we journey together to the Land of God.

    Sometimes churches, denominations, and religions create walls of separation, like prisons, keeping people out, keeping people in. Sometimes religious fanatics become Agents of Death, bringing pain and sorrow to humanity by hurting, torturing, or killing those who won't submit to their particular man-made religious beliefs.

  145. Gravatar
    Gary T

    The Kingdom of God is not a religion, but more like a business arrangement, or a contract for a job, or a master/servant arrangement. If we agree to conduct ourselves as respectful, responsible, and obedient members of his Kingdom by carrying out the tasks he assigns us to do that will benefit mankind, then, in the next life, we will receive a great reward, and a job.

    The Good Shepherd teaches us that the God who created life on Earth is a God of Love, not a God of Hatred and Death, a God who shows mercy and forgiveness, giving sunshine and rain to both the good and the evil.

    What is True Worship?

    True worship is not the stand-up/sit/down service of rituals, recitations, customs, and practices we are accustomed to participating in when we attend churches or other places of worship, but is supposed to be a demonstration of our subservience to, and willing sumbission to, God. True worship is what we do to acknowledge God's ownership of ourselves when we're all alone.

  146. Gravatar
    Gary T

    The Rules of Life

    Long ago, the Good Shepherd gave us the Rules of Life that are to guide every member of the Kingdom of God. These simple guidelines are like a Code of Ethics that most of us must follow in the workplace. Following them willingly will enable humans to get along, forever, by surrendering selfishness and never hurting anyone, including themsleves. These rules are for us to internalize for our ouwn use, not to force upon others our own particular ideas or interpretations.

    Code of Ethics for the Kingdom of the Stars:

    *Love, honor, and obey God at all times, under all circumstances

    *Do no harm to yourself, or others

    *Practice self-sacrifice for the good of others

    *Conduct yourselves as servants of God, and servants of all mankind

    (The preceding paragraphs are taken from the afterword in my soon-to-be-published book:

    The Parable of the Lamb and the Pigpen

    available soon from createspace.com/3401451

  147. Gravatar
    Marie

    First time I hear of you brother, someone shared a video on facebook, the I looked you up and clicked on this articl. Ever had the feeling this is something yourself could have written, maybe not today but in the near future? Awesome! Free and empowered to love!!! Hallelujah!

  148. Gravatar
    Michele

    Darin, I have just found your website through a link from The Shack book website. You say what needs to be said and you say it well! The Shack was a freeing book to me and now your website even more! I spent 10 years in the Pentecostal church and never felt like I measured up for precisely the reasons you outline here and in your beating the rock post. I left the church because of all the control and hypocrasy - do as I say and not as I do. Thank you for speaking the truth!! You are like a breath of fresh air! I will be visiting your website often!

  149. Gravatar
    Michael V

    Truth !! what else is there to say ?

  150. Gravatar
    Moe

    This is so well said Darin. My husband and I were called to "go outside the camp" because so many of our children's friends (our children included), now young adults, would never be welcome in "the buildings that call themselves churches". Once we were so involved in all that but now I can only say, in light of the Jesus I know and the Father He reveals and Their Spirit, I do not know what those buildings are doing anymore - now in our 50's we have long been on a healing journey and all I know is that for real people who come from real earthy homes so much of what the buildings offer is irrelevant. Hurting people need authenticity, people who are real and comfortable with the mess that is life this side of heaven -Jesus was. Religious people obsess about little things like smoking, tattoos, piercings, clothes, language, etc yet cannot begin to relate, understand, show compassion or give comfort to broken hearted people who desparately need hope, friendship, Jesus, love. Real love.

  151. Gravatar
    Gabe Torres

    Now that we all know God Loves us let's go on from there and press towards the mark and dare to be transformed into his image. As we allow Him to love us , life us, and light us into His image.
    The world is waiting for us to demonstrate not only His love nature but also His dunamis power.
    2timothy talks about the emptiness of Religion without power we are to avoid it.Paul did not come go into Corinth just talking pretty he brought Gods Power--The Gospel is the Power to heal, to deliver and to transform hearts and societies.We must demonstrate Real power which comes from Real love which comes from rtransformation... by not being conformed to either the religious world or the sinful world.
    If He is lifted up all men will be drawn to HIM.

    We must demonstrate that we are partakers of His divine nature to bring about on earth as it is in heaven...
    So lets not behave as "mere men" but as sons and daughters of God who love like God, talk like God
    and do the greater works than these of God.

  152. Gravatar
    mike

    This rant just sounds like Christian conspiracy thinking. It makes bold broad statements, and like liberals in politics it finds it self righteousness in being the defender of the little (HURT) guy. I've noticed something about the anti pastor, anti church, anti tithing, group. They gather followers, sell lots of books and rail on people more than anyone in the Kingdom. The most critical judgmental group out there in cyber Christianity is the the hyper grace group.

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