Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Andrew Sullivan Responds to My Re-Posting His Article On Christianity

Andrew Sullivan posted this note from a reader and his reply on the Daily Dish A reader writes:
I was just glancing over at former Christianist now Greek Orthodox Frank Schaeffer's blog and saw that he was applauding your essay. He's posted it along with this note:
"Once in a while I read something that "says" what I believe and at the same time clarifies that belief and makes it better than it was. Here is one such article. I share it here as my Lenten meditation. "

I also went into the comment section and one reader made a book suggestion. The reader was suggesting the novel "Chasing Francis" by Ian M. Cron. It's the story of a megachurch pastor who has a crisis of faith which leads to a visit to his uncle who is a Franciscan priest in Italy and a pilgrimage to know St. Francis and thereby his own faith. Money quote, as you would say:
"When I left here, I wasn't sure what a Christian looked like anymore. My idea of what it meant to follow Jesus had run out of gas. I started feeling less like a pastor and more like a salesman of a consumerized Jesus I didn't believe in. Learning about Francis helped me fall in love with Jesus again - and with the church again, too."
That's an uncanny passage, but its resonance reminds me that we are often less alone than we thnk in the world. I have to say that writing that piece and having it out there has made me feel very depleted, even empty, and depressed. It's been such a glorious week of early Spring here in Washington and I have been struggling to put a face on.
The worldliness of Washington which I imbibe daily, hourly can weigh on the soul after a while. And I have rarely felt it so acutely as I have these past few weeks. Maybe it's the news: our deadlocked, nasty polity; the total intractability of the Middle East; the backlashes that sting and the campaigns that drain. But all I want is Francis and through him Jesus.
This Lent has been, well, Lent for me. Forgive me the indulgence of showing that someone out there gets what I am fallibly trying to express. I just needed it.


DLW said...

Sounds like you've been an encouragement to Andrew.


Frank Schaeffer said...

He certainly was to me, F

zillagirl said...

I, too, really, really enjoyed Andrew Sullivan's article. He echoed a lot of thoughts I've been having recently.

I converted to the Mormon Church 20+ years ago and, while I still love the gospel, I sometimes feel that some of my personal beliefs conflict with statements from the leadership. I came to the conclusion that I need to listen to that "still, small voice".

I wrote a blog on this at

Thank you, Frank, for your activity on these issues.