COLLATERAL FAITH

Oct 21, 2019

After learning that I had married a man, a person commented on social media, ‘It’s sad he lost his faith. Now he’s chosen not to keep God’s commandments and given up his salvation.’ Wow. So many inaccurate assumptions. I never lost my faith. I discovered the courage of collateral faith.

Collateral faith is the faith one has when entering the arena to work out their salvation, regardless of culture or organized religion consequences. It’s the courage to challenge the status quo and seek answers beyond the self-proclaimed religious leaders. It’s the seeking, trusting, and experimenting on personal revelation to becoming a better person and drawing closer to God. It’s through collateral faith that we set aside our fear from religion and man and, instead, trust ourselves with God.

Wading Through Dogma

When the courage of collateral faith shows itself, many religious people call it out as being unfaithful. Unfaithful to organized religion? Perhaps. Unfaithful towards God? Never.

It’s the willingness and strength to wade through dogma that teaches different paths are unworthy, selfish or damning. It’s the action of shedding old thought patterns to make room for new ones. And it’s following things that feel Godly.

It’s like being part of a fitness group to lose weight. You attend the classes, study the material, and actively implement your new knowledge. You shed a few pounds but find that you’ve plateaued. You soon realize the ‘fitness’ expert of the group isn’t the expert they claimed to be. So, you let the instructor know you won’t be coming back because you’ve decided to go a different route. Immediately, the fitness instructor gets offended. They call you out as being lazy and say you will gain more fat if you stop the fitness group.

As it turns out, you find a more qualified personal trainer who spends one-on-one time with you. They get to know you and your challenges and create a customized fitness plan. You see more results with the new personal trainer after a few weeks than you did with the fitness group of 6 months.

Proven Principles Over Supposed Doctrines

I’m often asked the question, ‘how do I reconcile my choice of being married to my husband with the Christian faith I was raised in?’ Simply, I put my faith in proven principles and not in supposed doctrines.

The principles of prayer, kindness, service, self-reliance, acting on impressions, taking time to be holy, listening uplifting music and media, keeping my language clean, eating healthy, volunteering my time to help others, showing compassion, developing Godly attributes, all of them have proven to bless my life tremendously. Through those proven principles, I feel God’s direction in my life.

I had to emotionally and spiritually work through the dogma: Because I married a man, I’m not worthy to receive God’s blessings or receive personal revelation. For months I struggled to trust any feelings, emotions or impressions that I had.

Thankfully, that dogma for me, was proven false. It took some good time though. Probably six months, at least, before I realized that my marriage to my husband didn’t distance me from God. It didn’t disqualify me from being close to Him or stop me from receiving promptings to do good. It was wrestling through this realization that things improved. My spirituality, my feelings of worthiness, feelings of peace, all strengthen.

Bottom Line

I want to give hope and encouragement. So many good, humble and faithful people have been bruised and scarred with the mantra that obedience to organized religion is the only way to God. The Christian faith I was raised in really does produce some of the best good people.  And I owe much of the goodness that is in me to that upbringing.  But as a gay man, I had to seek additonal answers and guidance that was not found in my religion. That’s when I discovered the courage for collateral faith.

Three things I try to remember:

  • Keep the ‘good parts’ from my religious upbringing
  • Practice proven principles for goodness and success
  • Exercise the collateral faith and trust the process in personal revelation

Take Care.

Josh

2020-02-19T05:25:04+00:00

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15 Comments

  1. Jennifer Saunders October 21, 2019 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    I was pondering this very thing this morning while driving. Thanks for putting into words.

  2. Nancy Henderson October 21, 2019 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    Very well put Josh I hope someday my son will find that kind of peace. Actually I hope we all find that peace, organized or not. Thanks

  3. Kyle Jacobsen October 21, 2019 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    So we’ll put! I’ve had the same experience with God. It took me a little while to realize that my ability to be led by the Spirit was only weakened if I BELIEVED I was unworthy of it. Once I let go of that, the Spirit could finally guide me again just as it always had.

  4. Stuart Dickson. October 21, 2019 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Amen. It took me a long to to figure that same thing out but now I know God loves me the sane. Maybe even more because I am a open and authentic man now. No more hiding or pretending.

  5. Wayne Smith October 21, 2019 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Hi Josh, I really appreciate your post and I really appreciate you as a Christian and a gay man. I came across your videos on Youtube back around March/April of this year. I have been struggling with being gay for the majority of my life and when I came across your videos, I was really struggling and searching for answers. Watching you helped me to have the courage to be myself. My come-out moment was in two or three Facebook posts and telling my sister, who I love dearly. That was a huge step for me and I found it really liberating. I still have my struggles and I search for answers but Jesus has used you to help me along the way. I thank God for you and I speak His Shalom peace over you. You are an inspiration and you are on my very short bucket-list of people to meet who have affected me in a positive way. Take care, Wayne

  6. Tom Christofferson October 21, 2019 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    Great things to remember, Josh!!

  7. Glenda Crump October 21, 2019 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    I Love your thoughts…you make some really good points. I get so frustrated when someone from my church walks away for whatever reason (usually to protect their LGBT child from the hurtful doctrine) and those still on the inside say they have gone down the wrong path or fallen away from Gods graces…it seems so judgmental. Good for you sticking up for yourself and the gay community. I hope you and your hubby have a long happy life together!

  8. Isaac October 21, 2019 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    I have been thinking about this too for so long. I struggle with how to reconcile what I have been taught to what I feel in my heart. Your article sums it up so well. Thank you Josh.

  9. Tina October 22, 2019 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    I really love your explanation of this, and feel it truly is something many of us need to do with organized religion. It can feel difficult as many of us have been raised with much black and white thinking. What helps me is knowing that if God is all powerful, He will sort it all out and I’ll have a better understanding of it later. Take what helps me and leave what doesn’t. ♥️

  10. Celia Vazquez October 22, 2019 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    Durante mucho tiempo trate de encontrar un equilibrio con mi forma de ver la vida y lo que decía la religión o las demás personas con respecto a la fe, conforme me conozco, me acepto tal y cómo soy tengo una mejor relación con Dios dándome cuenta que es personal e intransferible mi trabajo interno. Gracias por este artículo Josh. Benito día💜

  11. KellyP October 22, 2019 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    Wonderfully, clearly said. As I contemplate marriage and the disapproval of my father (and many other family and friends), this help me to re-frame my thinking and also gives me the words to say in response to some of the negativity that will surely be tossed my way.

  12. Ricky L Vaughn October 22, 2019 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    Thank you. I needed to read this today.

  13. Sheri Barker October 22, 2019 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    Thank you Josh! Your words ring so true

  14. George Hargroder October 23, 2019 at 2:22 am - Reply

    Wow, Josh I always struggled with this! Thanks for this read I needed this!

  15. Howard Carson October 24, 2019 at 1:17 am - Reply

    It clearly states it right here.

    1 Corinthians 6:8-10 New International Version (NIV)
    8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. 9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a]10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

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