Something Has Been On My Mind.

I wrote some time ago that I was no longer going to write exclusively about Christian topics. I described myself as a Christian who blogs, as opposed to a Christian blogger. My reasons for this have been well documented so I don’t think I need to repeat them on this post. Suffice to say, I felt awkward and uncomfortable doing so, given my own fractured faith. Enough said.

At the time, I received a lot of support for my stance. From Christians and non-Christians alike. People replied that they respected my decision and the rationale behind that. Phrases like ‘refreshing honesty’ were thrown about and I felt vindicated. People understood, or at least I thought they did. I forged forward, content that all was well and I could focus on other topics close to my heart.

Very, very gradually though I began to realise that all was not as rosy as I first thought. Certain Christian bloggers stopped reading and commenting on my posts, others less and less so. It has been a trickle, as opposed to a flood, but a noticeable one, nonetheless. Like a leaky tap in the corner of the room. Barely audible but there all the same. Drip. Drip. Drip. In certain quarters, I have become somewhat of a blogging outcast.

It’s not as if I’m shouting atheism from the rooftops. I still consider myself a Christian, albeit a deeply flawed one. The majority of my posts contain a consistent Christian message. Love others. It’s just I choose not to deliver it as overtly as I used to, and as others continue to do. I don’t quote Scripture, although I still read my Bible. My faith is more private. I’m seeking to focus on my relationship with Jesus.

My daily views have dipped considerably and for a long time I was unable to put my finger on the reason for it. Or rather, I chose not to. I didn’t want to speak out loud what I’d been privately thinking for some time. Even less so, I haven’t wanted to air my thoughts. Yet, here I am, writing about it. It’s that whole ‘refreshing honesty’ thing again. I write what I see. I might be horribly mistaken. But that’s what I see.

WWJD – What Would Jesus Do, or rather think? I’m not sure what his views on social media would be. I know it can be a fantastic evangelical tool, if used properly. But I still reckon he would be old school when it came to missionary work. Walking the streets, looking the broken in the eye, loving the unlovable. Not sitting behind a keyboard, tapping merrily away. You can only do so much from there.

Don’t get me wrong. There are still a core of Christian bloggers who I read, and interact with, on a daily basis. They have always shown love in the way they support and encourage me, no matter what I write about. But I see a worrying trend amongst other Christians on WordPress to only interact with other overt Christian bloggers. Isn’t that kind of missing the point?

I saw the same thinking when I went to church. We stick to our own, we don’t reach out beyond our comfort zone. We smile politely and nod and say all the right things, but where is the integrity, the desire to get your hands dirty and mingle in the mire and the mud of the sinful. For that is where Jesus would be. Up to his knees in it. Be that on WordPress or in a doorway with an alcoholic, a drug addict, whoever needed him.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 15 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

143 thoughts on “Something Has Been On My Mind.

  1. Oops it reminded me of one of my first posts ‘miracles take time’. Having once been married to a minister and involved in pentecostal churches , i know the reality of being part of a group then being an outcast when life and belief doesnt quite go as planned. Ive discovered a lot more about myself on that journey though. I think likes go up and down. Im just happy sometimes seeing a like from a new country. If what i write touches one person somewhere on planet earth then im happy.

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  2. Good morning from the UK.

    Having read a few of your posts now, I’m gaining a sense of what it is, to be a Christian. I also understand your ‘fractured faith’. Keeping such faith must be very hard.

    Being more involved with science than religion I would suggest – from a scientific point of view – that a modern JC would see social media as exactly the right place to be. I also feel he would, by now, have a deep and necessary understanding of what dangers the human ego can pose . . . distraction. After all, JC only needed a few devoted followers now, did he not?

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  3. I’ve only been following your blog for the past month or so and have obviously missed the earlier evangelical stuff. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised when I read the title of your blog and found that the posts were not overtly ‘religious’ in any way. Had they been, I’m sure I wouldn’t have hit that Follow button. I very much enjoy your posts as they are – being openly honest about life in general, whilst there is a subtle undercurrent of being a good person, or Christian if you prefer.
    I have a friend, Arthur, who is very religious, but he doesn’t ‘preach’ as such to anyone at all as far as I know. But he prefers to read the Bible and follow his faith in his own way. When he stays with us, before a meal, we hold hands and he says a prayer (completely made up off the top of his head) thanking God for all the good things we have in our lives and the food in front of us, and I quite like that, despite not being a religious person myself. (This is not a plug, but it would be remiss of me not to mention that you can see some of his paintings, some of which are religious, here: http://www.artworkbyart.com).
    In summary, what I think I’m saying is, please carry on as you are, any ‘message’ will get through – to those who are prepared to listen of course. 🙂

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  4. “Looking the broken in the eye” – yup❤️ sorry you have felt judged by fellow Christians. I know many feel the same way and that is what turns them away from faith rather than to it.

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  5. I have been a regular attender of various churches throughout my life. I attended the youth groups and Summer Schools of the CoE church around the corner until later in secondary school when the family of my best friend were devout Baptists (church secretary, lay preacher) so I joined the youth groups there. For a while, the Billy Graham tent campaigns made Christianity almost ‘cool’ (just shows how old I am) and when my kids were young we attended the Baptist church where we then lived (mother-and-toddler groups, Boys Brigade, Sunday School…) I worked once with a Jehovah’s Witness who was the most unforgiving person I’ve ever met. (She was also incredibly superstitions, which seemed to me to be missing the point.) Now I belong to a free church ‘oldies’ group in the village nearby, but my own beliefs are, I suppose, agnostic. I don’t know – and don’t expect to know until it’s too late to do much about it.
    Church groups have cliques the same as anywhere else. Sharing what you believe isn’t the same as ramming it down other people’s throats. In discussion, we must offer an open mind – as open as we expect the other side to have. What I profess to believe doesn’t make me a better person; I still have to work at it.

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  6. I think that on social media in general, irrespective of content, ‘leakage’ of engagement is common because of the human phenomenon of adaptation. As we follow more and more blogs and other things each day our inboxes get fuller; we scroll down and have a tendency to ignore the familiar in favour of the newer (recency effect). I don’t always read your posts for this, and only this, reason. Your writing and content remains fine and I appreciate it greatly.

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  7. As we grow older our faith changes. It develops in new ways. The okd and the new wineskin. Sadly, most people don’t go that route with us. But then maybe that is right. We need to follow our own path – to work out our own sakvation in fear and trembling, as Paul says.

    I used to be a Methodist preacher. For forty years. I did all the evangelical stuff, youth groups, etc. Went to huge gatherings and celebrations. Fellowships. Bible Studies. But I have changed. My faith is now much mire inner and quiet. But firmer. I have discovered the benefits of solitude.

    And yes, in feeding the hungry we are feeding Christ Himself. Toyching the leper. And oh boy, I know what it is like to be anleper! But wasn’t Christ one of those too? Murdered outside the city walls. Yes, our faith changes. And so be it. Mif others don’t like it, too bad. You are doing a great job Stephen

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  8. Thank you once again for sharing your insights Stephen. Anyone who chooses to not read/comment on your blog for the reasons you state are incredibly short-sighted and inward focused. I am always refreshed by your thoughts, even (or maybe because) when they might not line up with mine. I find I grow the best when challenged the most.

    In my small community, Sunday mornings look very similar in the churches here: 75% empty with those in attendance having little or gray hair. Honestly, I don’t see much happening there, as the majority of their time appears to be spent in attempting to hold on to a past that is long gone.

    The somewhat non-traditional ministry I am blessed to be a part of spends most of its time in the streets. We are daily face to face with the people I believe Jesus would most likely be with: those who have fallen through the cracks of society for various reasons. I believe He had something to say about who He came to minister to didn’t He. That simply is our goal: to be His hands and feet right here. Those who have stopped reading your blogs ought to come join with us out there for a while; they might just see the value of considering what you have to say.

    As always, thanks,
    Chuck

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  9. My immediate thought is that you nailed one of the main challenges our society faces. Division. Disconnection. Judgment.
    My second thought- if we are going with honesty is “yuck, that is one of the things I dislike about so-called religious people”. Isn’t the best way to show others a spiritual path is by walking a spiritual path? And shouldn’t we be helping others because it’s the right thing to do and we want to live humbly. Rather than demand that others conform to our thoughts and beliefs?
    I am not referring to you. In fact, I am sad that you are receiving the cold shoulder. I also am not a Christian. I do believe in God. And you want to talk about fractured faith! Our actions are always more powerful than our words. Love and help others is a universal theme not exclusive to Christians.

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  10. I have loved your blogs the way they are and will continue to read. That said, I wonder if you are reading more into this than there is. Maybe some of those people deliberately stopped reading but maybe some are following so many that they don’t read them all. People do choose what they want to read and your blog might not be what they are looking for. I don’t have thousands of people reading my blog but even so I notice that some who follow I see at first and then they fall off. I have never stopped to see who those bloggers are. It doesn’t matter.

    Let go of ?anger? sadness? loss? whatever you are feeling because some people don’t read. Those who do read love your work and your writing. Let that be enough. Thank you for blogging!

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  11. Having followed and read your blog for several years, I somehow understand the issues. The words “Fractured Faith” put your writing directly into my scope of interest. I also relate to your recovery process. I am not interested in Christians who “have it all together’ and are eager to instruct me. I am keen on Jesus followers who struggle and suffer, as I do, with their faith walk because the life and teachings of Jesus have the answers. As a recovering alcoholic, I know today that I am prone to putting too much importance on the acceptance of others. It is a common trait with us. You write a great blog. Enjoy it and don’t worry about the approval of “Christians.” I realized a great freedom when I stopped labeling myself as Christian.

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  12. I started following you because we are in the same place in our faith. You encourage my spirituality and have helped me deepen my beliefs and faith. I’m a Christian who doesn’t practice religion anymore because of all the things you experienced. Let your post be a wake up call. People aren’t losing faith or their spirituality. The decline in practiced religion is because they have abandoned these institutions.

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  13. If there is one thing I have learned in life and via my blog is that you have to be true to yourself. Your voice has to ring true and be sincere. If it is then, you will have loyal followers who appreciate you and your words because they come from within your heart and represent the core of your being. I have been reading your work for about a month or so now and I find you to be someone who is leading a good life and who is wanting to make a difference in the lives of others…….that’s all I really need to know. I’m not here for the Lord. I am here for you and that is more than enough for me. Chin up! Life is good. Carry on.

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  14. One of my favorite quotes comes from Donald Miller, “I’m a Christian writer who hasn’t been to church in five years”. I’m a Christian, or more accurately, a follower of the Rabbi, a disciple. I also write. Social media and tools like WordPress are a great way to share my thoughts, but my thoughts are often of my struggles with faith and doubt. I appreciate your ‘refreshing honesty’. When one’s faith is honest, it connects with others no matter where they are. I can’t think of a better way to share the ‘Good News’.

    I find many “Christian” bloggers and writers to be full of fluff, and somewhat dishonest. Sharing the Good News without admitting that life goes on with its accompanying struggles is a hale-truth. My friend Jim always said, “A half-truth is a whole lie”. A “fractured faith” is a real faith and an example of the real relationship we have with Jesus. Thank you for telling it like it is – an exciting and often frustrating ride with God.

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  15. You’re right. Why be a lit candle the light in lighting section of the Home Depot? We need to be where the darkness dwells so that our light can dispel it.
    You had a Christian audience that only wanted to feed upon itself. Is that cannibalism? *Asking for a friend*

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  16. Spot on!! IMO people who only blog their faith are boring and unrealistic. They are usually judgmental even tho they don’t believe they are. They have forgotten the hat LOVE ❤️ is the key.

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  17. Good morning! Please know I do not read and comment on any blogs regularly. I try to share the readership as I cannot devote time and energy to each one that I follow. I hope that makes sense. When I read your blog, most times I comment because your words impact me. I pray right now NOT to be a vessel for Jesus who only speaks to Jesus followers. I pray for more speaking and writing opportunities to be the light that draws others to Him. And I agree with you and all who write as true to who you are. My faith is the foundation on which I build my life, nothing is separate. And each day I wake up, I need Jesus more because I am a broken vessel, no matter how healed, still human. And that’s the amazing way God meets us and uses us. Mary, mother of Jesus, was a young engaged woman who loved God but by no means perfect in her readiness to be mother to Son of God. She said Yes I will be your vessel. Have a great day and be encouraged as you prepare your book and keep going on your blog!

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  18. Hey Brother Man, Reading through todays blog caused me to stop and recall a story I’d heard a long time ago. It seems that in this town, in the well to do section, there was a church. It had been there forever. It was big, stain glassed windows everywhere, a huge organ, and most everyone that went there was stuffy, and very, very conservative in how they worshiped. Thing had been this way for scores of years, and the congregation felt there was one way, and only one way to worship and that was while wearing your Sunday best, and to sit there like you were afraid to wake God up. So into this ivory tower, one beautiful morning, in walks a Jesus Freak. His T-shirt proclaimed that real men love Jesus, and he wore a cross on a leather string around his neck, and sandals on his feet. This man who stood out like a sore thumb among the suits and fine dresses walks right up to the front, sits down on the floor, raises his hands and starts praising God. Well, the congregation stared in shocked silence, thinking when is someone going to do anything about this offense to our church. Then one of the older deacons walked up to him, and everyone’s thinking that the guys is going to get it with both barrels because this deacon was the most conservative of the bunch. He knelt down next to the young man, had a whispered conversation with him, and then to the congregations surprise, sat down right next to him and started praising God right alongside him. Afterwards, the deacon was called on the carpet and asked to defend his actions. He smiled, and said the young man reminded him of one thing. It doesn’t matter how perfect you think you are, or how good you look. At the end of the day, it’s all about that relationship with God.

    None of us are perfect. Our faith is and should be a daily walk/exploration of God. There’s light years of difference between being “Religious” and being a “Christian’. And never stop proclaiming Him. I come here to find a little encouragement and to find a little wonder in this awesome world He made, and you’]re really good at pointing it out.

    Don’t ever stop, and keep up the good work.

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  19. I haven’t read the other comments so I hope I’m not repeating anything, but there is a VERY fine line between shoving Jesus and ‘religion’ down people’s throats and witnessing. And in my opinion, that is where Jesus was the most powerful. However, these days people can’t seem to grasp that concept so you have the trickle effect as you said. Loved the post!

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  20. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites
    are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and
    in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.
    Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

    But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy
    closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray
    to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father
    which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

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  21. I see the same issues in regards to institutional churches and religion. My belief is that Jesus directs us in varying ways as we are each unique, special and loved by God. Although I regularly engage with others in person, it is difficult to do the same on social media.

    My life is full of diverse endeavors and I have to intentionally make time to read and respond to others who blog. It is a time-consuming effort and not one I am able to enter into on any regular basis.

    That being said, if “Christians” choose to be selective in what they read, then it is really their loss. Christ was aware of many things outside the walls of buildings as His life is contained in humans and not buildings.

    I rarely have anyone interact or respond to any of my posts and although I would love to engage and read comments, it is something I cannot focus on as it would distract me from the writing of content that is on my thoughts and heart.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I have found people I am able to have real honest conversations with and it is enough for me. I interact with a diversity of persons in varying religions, denominations and race. The most important component in all my relationships is honesty and authenticity. Most people appreciate this.

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  22. It’s ironic that this is the first blog post I’ve read in a LOOOOONG time. Of any blogs, not just yours. It may have appeared that I was part of your trickle effect. I haven’t been posting on my own blog, so it’s an equal-opportunity abstention here. I’ve been going through my own mental health challenges and crisis of faith. I think sometimes things just cycle and we have to move forward without worrying too much about anyone else. People at church cycle through their own challenges, too, and when it seems like they are turning from us/me/you, in reality, they just may not know how to manage their own fears in the face of seeing some of us holding our own up to the light.
    Currently, I’m walking a delicate line between not airing my dirty laundry in public (and causing harm to others who are no more flawed than I am, only differently flawed) and still being open with the fact that sometimes life is hard and that’s simply part of our journey Home. AND trying to remember that it’s important to ask for help when I need it, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or physically.
    I’m coming out of my personal mental lock-down, slowly but surely. I’ve written a novel recently, which I will soon put into revision, but blogging still seems daunting to my raw heart. Apparently we have to face our demons rather than shut them into mental closets, otherwise they sneak out and cause problems.
    So, I still say kudos to you for keeping it real. I just haven’t figured out how to keep it real myself without causing damage to people in my life who are already suffering enough. I’ll figure it out eventually – most likely after the New Year.
    More irony. As I wrote this comment, Kelly Clarkson’s song Dark Side started playing on my internet radio station. Perfect timing.
    “There’s a place that I know
    It’s not pretty there and few have ever gone
    If I show it to you now
    Will it make you run away?”

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  23. Waaay down here… What you’re observing is probably true, but you also have:

    1. Busy life. I’m five days behind in blogs and have decided to give up and read from today.

    2. Novelty. People like what is new and exciting.

    3. Impatience. Related to #2.

    Honestly, I’ve been impressed with your traffic. I know the formula, but cannot intentionally replicate it for my parenting blog. 🙂

    Just write for you, keep doin’ what you do, and push your inclusive message.

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  24. Agree with ‘living intentionally’. Also have very low traffic on my blog, and I don’t make the rounds on other blogs near as much as I’d like to make them… but yet I feel I can’t focus too much on it as I mainly want a place to create and explore my own thoughts; being anonymous helps a lot with that freedom!
    Luke 5:16. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray.”
    My blog right now is basically a lonely place where I can process my thoughts to God and a very short list of others who might stumble upon it…and (for now anyway): I like it that way.

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  25. Based on the fact that during chapel at school I was usually having a cigarette in the loos, I fear I’m not the best person to comment. However …. I love my little soapbox so for what it’s worth:
    1). You will never please everyone so don’t bother (by the way, do as I say, not as I do)
    2). If you want to keep the Christian followers, then you will need to blog material relating to that topic. If I follow someone because they talk about cycling which interests me, and suddenly they start only doing poetry, I’m going to stop reading … I don’t ‘do’ poetry. Sorry to be harsh. Therefore, can you alternate your blogs between religious and non-religious? Or have two separate blogs? 😬 ok maybe not. Or are you just not wanting to write religious material at all right now?
    Or perhaps, even if you’re not into writing much about it, how about just staying in the loop by reading and commenting on other people’s posts in the Christian community, so as to stay in touch with them? Hmmm … not sure I’ve helped at all. Katie

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      1. You’re asking for flexibility … a compromise of sorts? Hmmmm … It depends upon the author, whether I like them and how good the poem is. Nothing too long though, that’s just unadulterated indulgence.

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  26. Beautifully written, my friend. You open your mind and heart in an awesomely courageous way that I find difficult to do. Maybe because I worry about “what people will think of me”. But you give me courage. Also, you touch upon a problem that is prevalent in Christian society today. We are Christians and attend and seek out other Christians in fellowship and support. This is wonderful and Christ certainly showed us that when two or more are gathered, He is there. But we forget that He also showed us that we must seek out those that are NOT like us, that may not be where we are in our journey with Him and do what He did. Exemplify the fruits of the spirit:
    Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faith, and self control.

    There is a lot of emphasis put on social media traffic in order to be a successful writer these days. You have created an impressive following in a year and as such touched many lives. Focus not on the quantity of your “tribe” but on the impact you have in your thoughts and words. I have not garnered near the following, but I know that there is a purpose for my writing and for where I am today. And if my words take flight and truly touch someone then I have used my gift from God well.

    May you feel the blessings of your gift and trust God has a purpose and redemptive power to do the rest. Merry Christmas, my friend.

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  27. Sorry to hear that is happening to you, blogger brother. But it is really not terribly surprising. I also identify as Christian yet have observed Christians being some of the most excluding, judgmental people I have ever met. And as you state in your conclusion, not resembling their namesake in any way, shape, or form.

    Your task is just to keep putting YOU out there in your purest, most unvarnished form and let the chips fall where they may.

    Blessings on the journey.

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  28. Can’t help but notice that you fervently responded to early comments, but there came a point where it was not practical for you to respond to everyone. Loretta Yon Shoen and howikilledbetty have provided some great thoughts regarding why we do what we do. Fad followers are fickle regardless of what or whom they follow. As you blaze your trail keep your focus on what lies ahead rather than looking back to see who may be following.

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  29. Well you’ve gained a new follower here! Maybe you’re losing some old followers who want to, as you said, stick to their own kind. But in doing so it’s clear you’re gaining a new audience too, one that appreciates honesty and openness and isn’t concerned with someone being the perfect Christian and posting only religious content. It doesn’t make you less of a Christian- the people judging you are the ones doing wrong 🙂 I’m not even religious myself but I respect others choices and I find your blog really enjoyable !

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      1. Thank you! I like your blog name first of all. It seems to suggest a kind of good nature but not unrealistic; doing your best, but unafraid to fail which is all anyone can expect from someone! And your posts are really in line with this, it all feels really personal and you seem to be willing to discuss certain things (like in this post) that others would be fearful to do as we’re all too keen to appear perfect to everyone else. It’s cool that you’re so engaged with your readers too and I can’t wait to take part in your new 12 blogging Qs of Christmas ! 🙂

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  30. Keep writing honestly. This is one Christian blogger who loves your posts. Do I always agree with you? No – but you are right. Just interacting with those who share our exact beliefs and thoughts is not a good thing. We need to listen to others – to always be open to different ideas. I hope when I write about Christian ideas (what makes an idea Christian?) it does help others, but you are right. Face-to-face caring and helping is what I believe Jesus would do.

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  31. I’m still with you! I don’t usually see your posts in the WordPress Reader even though I have been following your blog for awhile. Do you publish your posts, so they always show up on the Reader? I have had trouble with that in the past with my posts for some reason. I have always enjoyed your blog and I appreciate your honesty. You are right about getting out and serving and helping others. God bless you and your family!

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  32. There is a lot of truth in that thought of Christians not liking being out of their comfort zone. It is a hard truth, but an honest one, too.

    It makes one sit up and think about what it is that is being done by ‘ordinary’ christians on a daily basis.

    I was talking to a manager the other day about a project for which I volunteered. I mentioned that I used to preach n my church, and he turned to me and said “Are you a christian?!”

    The irony of the question was not lost on me at the time, and it has popped up a few times since then. Is my life showing Christ? Or am I in some sort of comfort zone of my own making. Not letting The Lord live in me?

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  33. Wise words, well spoken, many more of us are likely to understand your broken faith position. Many atheists, agnostics and other faiths act out Christ’s teachings and love on the front line of life, but of course that is not the same as having faith in a living Christ. Most of us wallow in uncertainty and don’t do a lot to help the human race either. I did belong to an evangelical group in a small city as a teenager, but as I grew up found it hard to accept they could be one hundred per cent right and the rest of the world wrong.
    As for the cosy Christians, they are human like the rest of us; they wrap themselves in the security blanket of ‘belonging’ the same as any tight religious group, or people who share strong political or environmental views.Keep writing and blogging, some followers may fall away and new ones will turn up.

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  34. This is the first post of yours I have read and I sincerely appreciate what you have to say. Don’t worry about who does or doesn’t follow your blog. Those that flake out on you because of a decision you make have their own issues to deal with and were likely following for the wrong reasons in the first place. I started my blog because it’s therapeutic to me and if what I have to say can help even one person I am very happy.

    God bless you my friend and keep writing!

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  35. Speaking from the perspective of seeing people fall away from following, there are a few things I want to state with gentleness.

    How many of these followers did you follow and respond to daily? – I’ve noticed when I’ve stopped reading, liking and commenting on some blogs (still follow) but dwindled away from, sometimes it is the same. I think some people enjoy the give and take. It’s nice to support others and it’s really nice when they support us back. (Admittedly, this has created a selfishness in me when I don’t see the same people.)

    As a Christian, I see the concern of bitterness with this – Numbers do a lot to us. We see the number before the person. We don’t know why people come and go. I know I myself have created ridiculous reasons in my head without ever knowing the cause. I want to say “people did this to me” when the truth is…it is not about that.

    We need to be careful about not complaining when these things happen. I know your stats are much higher than many of us. Be thankful with where you are, that’s what God taught me. When I had under 10 followers and no likes or readers, He always put in my heart, “You remember this. Before you grow. Before the numbers. Remember WHY you do this.” And my reason is God. I write for Him and for Him to reach people in His timing.

    Numbers do not reflect truth – If God wants to use something to reach others, He absolutely will. And maybe He wants to get your attention. I believe God will use all things for His glory and sometimes we have to learn the hard way.

    Yes, people are exclusive- But in a blogging community, I do feel like we are more branched out. People’s interests also change. Naturally, if something is not keeping our interest we may struggle to stay, and I’ve had to tell myself multiple times, so I hear you, sometimes people lose interest and it is NOT PERSONAL. I have to keep repeating to myself, “It is not about you. It’s about God.” A good swift kick to my spirit with a heaping dose of don’t forget what humility is.

    Looking at your blog, and I know you see it too, there is a change of topics. The core message may be the same but it is not as it once was. That possibly could show a reader, “Oh, this isn’t keeping my interest like before.” But it is not personal.

    I take so many things personal and am STILL working on this. When the comments are under my average, barely scratching 10. I have to remember where I started and why. I have to remember many people read but that does not mean they will like and comment. I use comments primarily as a way to tell myself how “involved” the community is with me, but this is a lie. It’s how I would “like” my community to be involved with me.

    How often do I comment to others and consistently follow their material? How much am I engaging to others? It goes back to blogging basics. We must be a community to each other. The humble part being, we must be a community to others even when we do not have engagement because it needs to be about others before ourselves. That’s what God is teaching me, they aren’t easy lessons. But I hope they are beneficial to you.

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  36. I am glad that you are not just another denominational, nominal Christ hypocrite. Brother, I am also a Christian but I am trying to balance faith with Philosophy and what I have read. My views keep changing from time to time. I am glad that you liked my article. Anand Bose from Kerala

    Liked by 1 person

  37. I’m still here. 🙂 Life has really sucked at my house lately, and I also have not had much time to read blogs. I think a lot of people have been sick and busy since Thanksgiving so maybe it’s not you, it’s them. Lol! We are on Christmas break now so I am trying to get some reading in. Just be yourself.

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  38. Firstly, let me say that you are an amazing writer. Please do not make the mistake of linking your writing more secular blog posts with losing members of your reading/ commenting audience. I can assure you thst this is not the case. There is an equally likely cause for said downward trickle. One that you may not be able to see at this time.

    The second issue you raised is WWJD or rather, think. It’s is all speculative at best about what our Lord Jesus Christ would think. That said, social media platform itself is neither good nor bad. It is about the morals, integrity, and character of the person using it who controls the direction of what comes form it’s use.

    People set up go-fund me pages for families who lose their homes. Other folks also scam families under the same pretense for their own financial gain.

    In order to help others one only needs to have compassion and agape love for their fellow man. We hold back from helping one another because we allow others’ opinions to control us. We allow FEAR to take root. What will they think if I walk over there and talk to this drug addict? or drunk? what will they think if I read this blog? or comment over there at thst one?

    Jesus did not let others’ opinionss define his ACTIONS of love for his brothers and sisters. He was not ashamed to love. We all have much to learn from how He conducted Himself.

    We must either choose to live in FAITH or FEAR.

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    1. You may be right in many of your comments, but one I will challenge. WWJD is a command not a request. If we are true followers of Jesus, we will challenge ourselves with that Avenue of life. I do not believe that is obscure at all. All the commandments boil down to love God and love everyone else. That’s not too hard to accomplish. When one loves, self is held strong in order to lift up weak. I Enjoy your posts

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You misunderstood, I wrote ,”it’s speculative at best about what our Lord Jesus Christ would think” (about social media).

        I am in complete agreement with you about WWJD. “Do” is an action as I mentioned. Love is also an action, not just a thought, not just words. Fear, is what looms inside of people effectively cutting them off them from God’s love. Then that same fear keeps them from being able to love others and receive love. Fear keeps people from loving themselves. Fear of being unacceptable, fear of not fitting in, fear of spending time in the “wrong” social circles, ultimately, fear of being unforgivable.

        Merry Christmas and may the peace and love of Christ be with you.

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  39. I often wonder how we can be salt and light to the world if we stay in our own little group. I can relate so much to your post. I think we need to go where we are called, doing our best to follow Jesus. I appreciate you sharing. I think you put it quite well.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Interesting to hear this complaint from a Christian blogging angle – that we stick to our own. That would make it hard to evangelize, wouldn’t it?
    In a broader sense, this is just more of what we’re seeing nowadays – the internet and social media make it very easy to take refuge in whichever echo chamber you choose – reinforcing our own beliefs – religious, political, or whatever – by refusing to acknowledge the existence or validity of those who don’t agree with us.
    Enjoyed your post – Keep reaching out!

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  41. Hey, I found your blog due to you liking one of my post. Thank you for that! I read this post & loved it! I write bible studies and do some reflection blogs. God will use you to reach others through your words. He can use any venue for his ministry. Don’t let others discourage you from that. My He bless you and what he has given you to do.❤️

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  42. Yes it is missing the Point! I agree with you whole heartedly. It’s very hard to reach those who don’t know Jesus through media such as blogging or FB or Blog Posts. People need to see our faces and yet, one of the reasons I started writing books is I was not well received by the church as a leader. A leader who believes in leading people to such an astonoshing reltionship with Christ they could live “without church’ if need be is not wildly popular either.

    However…..That’s just what Jesus did didn’t he? Taught them to live withouth him and be led by God’s Spirit?
    WOW. Thank you for your honesty. Here. Laura

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  43. I tend to be a person who looks out and sees someone on a journey. We pass through many towns and places on our road trips and each one leaves us a little bit different, or completely unimpressed by the blandness of the place. But it affects our journey. Folks who judge are also on a journey. Sometimes it compels them to share their thoughts to “save your from yourself.” Keep writing! Keep sharing! We are all on this journey together. When you walk a labyrinth, beyond taking your heart’s cry to the center for an answer, you have to pass many along the narrow way. Folks either stop walking to let you pass, keep going, indicating that you must stop, or sometimes they smile and you kind of do a dance move that leaves each of you on the other side, in the desired direction. I have watched people do this and find it interesting to see how it goes. Thank you for your post. I appreciate it. Try not to look and see where you are unaccepted or left at the curb. Try hard to keep walking. Take note, but keep going. Sometimes those folks who have a criticism are full of insecurities and it scares them to see someone taking the time to question themselves. Cheering you from here! Linda

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Indeed a very interesting, honest post. Thank you.
    In my twenties, forty+ years ago, I became a reborn Christian. (I had been involved in both Hatha and Raja Yoga for nearly a decade before that and read a lot of eastern literature.)
    I made lots of friends, found a lovely community, partook in many activities and had many questions.
    The answers were always the same: Ask Jesus; Jesus knows; pray for clarity; read the bible.
    After two and a half years I realised that neither Jesus nor God knew what was right for me. I quit and moved out. Lost every friend I had made. They all just vanished from my life.
    I was now ‘from the devil’ and became persona non grata.
    A troublesome period followed. Very.
    I was responsible again for myself, not any other power. A hard but solid lesson.
    I see Christianity in a different light now. Religion/faith is a path some of us have/had to follow, but not blindly and not necessarily for ever.
    So, I now determine my own course and for that to work, I have to tone down/eliminate the ‘wanting noise’ (I want, I want) of my ego and pensively listen deeper. For me, that is not the voice of God or Jesus or X but of my ‘real being’ that communicates. And yes, there have been six named angels in my life for a long time, — not a relationship with winged creatures floating on a cloud, but messengers and enablers, and they came about many years after Christianity. They are undeniable to me, and I am happy to have them. Say no more.

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    1. I’m glad you have found peace and purpose in your life. We all walk different spiritual paths and yours sounds more interesting than most. Church people are very good at dropping you like a hot potato once you start to ask difficult questions.

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  45. I found your post to be very engaging. I understand your frustration and I can hear your heart in your post. For me, I believe Jesus would delve into any means of communication to spread the Gospel. His command to go into all the corners of the world are for all ages. The World Wide Web gives us access where time, expense, safety and security would not allow us to go. However, we cannot hide behind our keyboards. I completely agree that we also need to be “in the trenches.” I spent forty years in active addiction. My ministry now is to complete a master’s degree in professional counseling and work through a faith-based counseling service to reach teens and young adults struggling with mental illness and addiction. Please keep in mind that we are all part of ONE body. What you’re doing is what YOU’RE doing. It’s great. We each have God-given gifts. We’re each called according to HIS purpose. Can the foot say to the hand, “You’re not a foot, therefore we have no need for you?” We all can’t be in the trenches. We’re not all suited to be missionaries. I have a heart for Muslims lost and searching for the truth. My pastor’s sister is a missionary in North Africa, spreading the Gospel to Muslims. It’s a daunting and dangerous calling. I am not suited for such a mission. I’m sure you’re not suggesting all Christians should be “out on the street.” I hope you keep the faith and keep writing. We all need each other. Christ has called EACH of us according to HIS needs. We’re all vital to the message. He will not return until all have had the opportunity to hear and to accept or reject His message. The Internet is just one more vital tool for spreading the Good News. I am now following your blog and I thank you for stopping my mine. In Christ, Steven. (aka The Accidental Poet).

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  46. Dear Fractured Faith,
    I read your post, Something Has Been on My Mind with interest. I kind of marinated on it for a couple of days and now have something to say (I can’t find your original post). I am disappointed to hear of the chilly reception to your declaration of not writing strictly ‘Christian topics’ and selecting to switch your role to a Christian who blogs. We are called into ministry in various capacities and it is not for anyone to judge what that capacity should be. As Christians, it is important to realize and to fully embrace the notion that God has a call on our entire lives, including our work. Ultimately, your calling, if you will, is between you and God. Never let someone else determine God’s will for your life. I love this quote:
    Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble~Yehuda Berg

    It is too difficult to please everyone; therefore, it is more productive to live as you are designed to live. No one can ever completely understand God’s call for your life like you can. I find many times that certain entities who claim to be Christians behave in a contradictory way and with a judgmental stance. I can’t help but wonder in these situations if the trolls on social media have the courage to call out those things in their own lives that are incongruent—do their actions say more than their statements of faith. Everyone can hide behind a computer screen—that is the easy part. Revealing personal struggles is authentic and real.

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  47. I stumbled on to your post sometime last fall. I find it refreshingly honest and not pumped full of a bunch of hype. That makes it more valued to me. More Christians are fractured in their beliefs than want to admit to it. More folks have a belief system that is ala cart, taking what they have been taught and mixing it with what they have learned or feel comfortable with. I know people who claim to be Christians that never are seen practicing anything from the bible or of good common sense. I know a few who thump their bible everywhere all the time, and a lot in between those extremes. I know only a handful with your sincere fractured viewpoint. I fond it refreshing.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Good grief, that was a massive amount of comments. 🙂

    Very good article though. My initial reaction was to relate the premise of one of the episodes of “God Friended Me”. Pretty good show, by the way. I expected it to be all Christian bashing, but it’s been far from it. Anyway, the point being that the son in the show, (the main character) is lamenting that his podcast is losing listenership. He talks to his dad who dealt with something similar when he made his church more accommodating to outsiders.

    What his dad told him was that yes, he lost people initially, but ultimately he gained even more people, and they were people more receptive to his message of openness. Some of the “lost” even returned when they realized he wasn’t trying to destroy the church.

    I think the same thing applies here. If you truly feel in your heart that this is the direction God is guiding you, then have faith that everything will work out fine in the end.

    It’s funny too… As I was reading the article and thinking how to best relay the who TV show episode’s message, I could hear that still small voice asking if I saw any relevance for me and Twitter also, lol.

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  49. I liked this post. I am sorry I am going on a tangent, I am definitely no writer or literary master by far. I am a Christian or at least I like to think that I am.I don’t try to convert people to believe what I believe. If you believed in something different we can still be friends and coexist.I believe God gave us a choice to choose the path we want to follow.While I share what I believe he has done in my life, I don’t expect everyone to agree. I don’t believe that He beats us over the head like some people that have “religion” do. I am a Christian, but I swear sometimes, I don’t quote scripture either. Sometimes I look at a concordance or google what I am looking for. I don’t think that makes me a bad person, but if I told that to the people at church I think they would have my head on a platter.

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