Soft in the Middle
We’ve all been there, all of us—those dark nights of the soul, where we doubt and feel abandoned by everyone, including God. Sometimes especially God. The only problem is that these dark nights seem to be stretching on to dark days, dark weeks, and dark years. Just feeling alone and abandoned. The bad news is I have no answers for you. The good news is you’re not alone. At all. Not even close. Did God abandon us or does it just feel that way? Is there really even a difference? This feeling of abandonment by God is as old as time itself. Quite literally. And it has no ownership. Christians feel abandoned, Atheists, Agnostics, Nihilists, Buddhists, Muslims, Jewish friends and family. You name it and they’ve felt it just like you and I have. This is something that should bring us together. Should keep us free from judgement and belittlement. Sadly that’s not the case and we often feel wrong or embarrassed on top of everything else. For today’s talk Joshua Murray dives into the Bible to look at others who have experienced this. He also looks to Paul…oh sorry, Paul Simon not the apostle, that was a bit misleading. He also looks to alcoholic space robots, binary solar systems, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Silver Surfer and Dr. Manhattan. Team them up with the heroes and prophets of the Bible and we might be able to navigate this all a bit more easily. And navigate it together with love and grace.
This talk was given on June 05, 2022 from Long Island, NY.
View all episodes
Contradictory Revolution49:19Jay is back from a brief trip to L.A. for the celebration of life memorial for Steve Pieters. He shares some stories about the trip and the service and gives us some extra looks into the life of such an extraordinary person! After that Jay jumps into the topic this week – Reformation! The talk connects to his last talk and we revisit Jesus’s words in the book of Matthew and why the simple phrase of “you’ve heard it said…” is such a big deal. Jay tells us, also, what he feels is vital for a reformation through the church: Grace (always, of course), Biblical Scholarship, Philosophy, and Psychology. This is the space that Revolution Gathering tries to settle in. A cross-section of all of those things. We have a lot of ideas that we think can really help lead to a reformation, and that is what makes us press on! But it’s not always as easy as all that. Grace will, at some point, always piss us off. Why? Because it applies to everyone across the board. Even the people we don’t want it too, just as it covers us when they don’t want it to. Jay dives into a bit of Hegel and discusses, among other things, what do our enemies look like? What does it mean to have enemies? Doesn’t it often seem that when we pull off the mask of our enemy that they usually just turn out to be some variation of ourselves? Is that why we struggle with them? Because they often reflect ourselves back to us? Does this realization change the conditions of our fights and arguments? What is contradiction? Is contradiction the basic fact of all beings? Jay explores these things, and more, through Todd McGowan, who explores these things, and more, through Hegel—and it makes it a lot more accessible to us. Let’s bring these ideas together and go to some place new!This talk was given on September 24, 2023 from Seattle, Washington.www.facebook.com/revolutionchurchmnwww.revolutionchurch.com/donatewww.youtube.com/revolutionbroadcasting@jaybakker@revolution1994@revolution94
DangerNoodle01:14:47Today we have a special guest speaker, Zoë! And the talk sure is a good one! Jay is in L.A. this week attending the memorial service for our dear friend Steve Pieters. Zoë was able to step up and help us out! Zoë starts their talk by sharing some memories and stories about Steve and the person he was and the legacy he leaves. Zoë then dives into the topic of Biblical Scholarship—expanding on some of Jay’s most recent talks. What does it mean to look at Biblical Scholarship? What does it mean to think differently about the Bible? What does it mean to consider ourselves a Christian while being willing to look at the Bible or the dogmas of Christianity with a critical eye? Zoë goes onto discuss how the same Bible has been used to both justify, and fight against, various injustices in the world—how can the Bible do both at the same time? Does the Bible speak in one voice? What does it mean to renegotiate? Can we learn challenging things and still be able to walk in our faith? Then Zoë goes on to tell us some parables! To try and sum the stories up seems to defeat the purpose, so I’ll end this here so you all can go listen! Thank you Zoë for a great talk!This talk was given on September 17, 2023 from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.www.facebook.com/revolutionchurchmnwww.revolutionchurch.com/donatewww.youtube.com/revolutionbroadcasting@jaybakker@revolution1994@revolution94
D-Attitudes01:03:52Seems like recently Jay’s talks have been inspired by memes…and this week is no different. This week a quote from Gary Oldman sparked some online discussion and that discussion sparked this talk. Today Jay addresses our inability to argue well, and our inability to disagree without hating each other. We always want an asterisk when it comes to grace—who it’s for and who it’s not. But what if the people that don’t see us, the people that don’t agree, what if they are the people we should be talking to. What would have happened if someone like Dr. King didn’t talk to people that refused to see his humanity. The Beatitudes talk about a peacemaker. What is the peacemaker’s role in the beatitudes? There is no conflict avoidance for the peacemaker. We need to talk to people we don’t agree with. We need to figure out nuance and boundaries and the doors in those boundaries for communication later on down the road. Because why is it the only thing that brings conservatives and liberals together is an inability to talk to each other and their ability to scapegoat each other? Have we gone crazy? Are we insane?This talk was given on September 10, 2023 from Seattle, Washington.www.facebook.com/revolutionchurchmnwww.revolutionchurch.com/donatewww.youtube.com/revolutionbroadcasting@jaybakker@revolution1994@revolution94
Broad Brushes01:01:17Today’s talk is a real good one. A bit off the beaten path, maybe—but it’s a discussion worth having. Today Jay really focuses in on statistics. Statistics vs. The Individual. We know maybe “statistics” isn’t the right word, but it’s the best fitting one we could think of. Jay discusses how society, as a whole, seems to want us boiled down to being a number, a statistic. They don’t see anything past that. They want to group us by gender or non-gender, by race, by religion. But we need to go deeper than that. We need to be more than numbers. We need to be diverse in all ways. More nuanced ways. Not just boiled down to some category made so everyone fits into the same molds. The reality that we’re living in is tough, but that’s where the diversity of thought can help. We all don’t have to agree, we all don’t have to see eye to eye. We just need to get to a place where we know that just because someone disagrees with us, they don’t need to be our enemy. Revolution loves nuance and wants to help give everyone, including ourselves, the tools needed to think and to change and to grow. Revolution is compelled by grace—despite success or failure. Let’s go deeper and find what helps us not feel like a statistic! Let’s go deeper!This talk was given on September 3, 2023 from Seattle, Washington.www.facebook.com/revolutionchurchmnwww.revolutionchurch.com/donatewww.youtube.com/revolutionbroadcasting@jaybakker@revolution1994@revolution94
I'm Busted53:08Here at Revolution we are always trying to do our best to live life on life’s terms, but sometimes it’s just tough. We’re feeling weary these days. But we’re honest about our struggles and how it gets hard to keep the faith, how it gets harder to love our neighbors. We still press on, though. And we hope us sharing our struggles might help others to know they aren’t alone. That, together, we can encourage each other to love one another. Even though it seems bleak, and it seems like we’re all getting crushed by impossible standards, and a broken system, we try to keep our focus on seeing everyone as human. To live together as human beings! Isn’t that the simplest form of Christianity? To see each other has human and to care about each other?This talk was given on August 27, 2023 from Seattle, Washington.www.facebook.com/revolutionchurchmnwww.revolutionchurch.com/donatewww.youtube.com/revolutionbroadcasting@jaybakker@revolution1994@revolution94
Living in the Friction01:14:20It’s another week where we just jump right into it! Today Jay’s talk is inspired by two memes he saw on Instagram. When you’ve gotten to a place where memes inspire your talks, is that a good thing or a bad thing? We’re not sure but we went for it anyway! The memes referenced the ideas of love and legalism in Christianity. The two things that cause most of the problems, if not all of them. Have we gotten to a place where politicians effect our theology more than theologians and scholarship? Have we veered too far off course as the Church—Capital C Church. Is reformation possible? Can we stop the us/them mentality and scapegoating? We think a modern day reformation is possible—a way to live in the friction. It won’t be easy and it’s a lot of hard work and tough conversations and setting boundaries…but boundaries with doors built into them. A way to disengage but keep the channels open. We need to embrace critical thinking! It’s easier to throw someone away, but we don’t want that. We want love and we want grace. We want to focus on scholarship. Good scholarship is transformative. It's time to destroy our idols and get back to a place of love and acceptance! This talk was given on August 13, 2023 from Seattle, Washington.www.facebook.com/revolutionchurchmnwww.revolutionchurch.com/donatewww.youtube.com/revolutionbroadcasting@jaybakker@revolution1994@revolution94
A Point Worth Looking At53:25Sorry for the delay with this week’s episode, I [Josh] had some pressing family matters that needed to be attended to, and that slowed down me getting this out to everyone, but here we are! And it’s a good one, worth the wait for sure! This week Jay gets right into it! And this week he’s talking about Hegel! Hegel thought that Christianity offered a philosophical insight that other religions did not—mostly due to the idea of a Divine Humiliation. What is Divine Humiliation? What is the difference between humility and humiliation? Can humiliation do anything for us? Help us in anyway? These are some of the issues Jay discusses this week. He also dives into the different ideas of Christian focus, weighing the idea of the Crucified Christ vs the idea of the Risen Christ. This opens up some very interesting avenues of thought—Does only focusing on the Risen Christ take away some of the essence of Christianity? What is the importance of Jesus’ scars? What does it mean for the infinite to show itself to be finite? How can God’s loss on the cross, God’s willing to be divided and humiliated, and the idea of Jesus feeling forsaken help us in our lives and struggles and our will to keep driving forward? Does it help us relate to Jesus more? Jay and Hegel don’t have all the answers—they might not even have most—but together they pose questions that really give us food for thought. Full serving, hefty portions of food for thought. Of course there is always some discomfort in these questions and ideas, but that is okay. It’s okay to feel uncertain, or uncomfortable. That is all part of the journey. Let’s try not to pull back from it, but dive into it and see what helps us. Find what gives us hope and strength in our lives. We can’t get to that point if we’re too scared to venture out of our comfort zone. This talk shows us it’s okay to have questions and a desire to learn more. It’s a good one! This talk was given on August 6, 2023 from Seattle, Washington.www.facebook.com/revolutionchurchmnwww.revolutionchurch.com/donatewww.youtube.com/revolutionbroadcasting@jaybakker@revolution1994@revolution94
I Know You Are But What Am I?47:00Hard times recently. Hard times. Each talk for the last few weeks, shortly before the talk is given, something big happens that derails it and leaves us bewildered and confused and tired. We had the passing of Steve, and the anniversary of Tammy Faye’s passing. We have the death of Sinead O’Connor, followed up by the death of Paul Rubens. All of these people have had a huge huge role in both Jay’s life and work. And the merging of the two. It’s no wonder that the first words Jay wrote for this talk were ‘Burnt Out.’ Because that is how it feels. Rough week after rough week. That feeling of ‘it’s just one of those weeks,’ but…forever. It’s hard to power through sometimes. But the slight sliver of a silver lining in all of this chaos and tragedy is that it forces us to reflect on the time we have left and how to use it wisely. To look at our behavior and the behavior of those around us and question what fruit it bears. To question if the rat race is worth it. To take the time and figure out our passions and our callings and find what brings us life! Finding our purpose. Grace isn’t an easy thing and just because we try and practice it, doesn’t mean it will be shown to us. But let’s do everything we can to not let that lead us into biting and devouring each other. Of biting back twice as hard as we got bit. Because we ALL fall short. ALL OF US. It’s equal footing—they’re bad, you’re bad, and we’re bad. So let’s try to be humble, let’s try to unlearn and relearn. And let’s try to live and behave with a purpose. A purpose that bears fruit. Fruits of grace and love. If we all fall short, that means we’re all in this together. Let’s keep helping each other. This talk was given on July 31, 2023 from Seattle, Washington.www.facebook.com/revolutionchurchmnwww.revolutionchurch.com/donatewww.youtube.com/revolutionbroadcasting@jaybakker@revolution1994@revolution94
Pure Life43:57This week’s talk wasn’t really planned, but that’s how things go sometimes. With the loss of Steve and the world getting worse and driving all of us a little insane, if not more than a little, Jay got to thinking about his mom and about her favorite verses. Then add on the 16th anniversary of her passing and there was no way Jay could focus on anything else but her, and boy was it needed. It’s great to see some of the innerworkings of the verses and attitude and mindset that drove her to become who she was, and how that made her legacy still continue on to this day. And in revisiting some old notes left by Tammy Faye, we get to see her still encouraging Jay (and all of us) all these years later. Because we could all use a little Tammy in our lives now. Remember, it’s no small thing to be staying afloat in these times, as the world just seems to keep crumbling and getting worse. And everyone is so angry and mean. We need love and grace, and a kind voice to remind us of these things. Jay reads some of Tammy’s favorite verses from some of Paul’s letters and also reminds us that it’s okay to rest in the beauty of the simplicity of these things. We don’t always need to be deconstructing or knocking down everything all the time. Somethings are beautiful and some things are simple. And some things are just beautifully simple. And it’s okay to just rest in that from time to time. This talk was given on July 23, 2023 from Seattle, Washington.www.facebook.com/revolutionchurchmnwww.revolutionchurch.com/donatewww.youtube.com/revolutionbroadcasting@jaybakker@revolution1994@revolution94