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Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith by Benjamin L. Corey
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Unafraid Quotes Showing 1-23 of 23
“In biblical Greek the word "repent" comes from a military term similar to the command "about face." In...sermons, repentance is all about "turning away' from sin, and certainly repentance would include an element of that. However, the deeper flavor of his word is less about turning away from something and more about turning toward something. As much as the word "repent" makes many of us recoil, what if it is enjoining us to turn away from our fear of God and to turn toward the love of God? what if we simply confess that God is love, and then put a period at the end of the sentence? God is love. Period.
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“When we place the Bible on equal footing with God, we become paralyzed by how to deal with it--because any criticism of the Bible becomes criticism of God himself.

The cure for the religion of Biblicism is the realization that Jesus is the inerrant Word of God, and the Bible is just a collection of inspired and useful writings that introduce us to him.

Let me be clear: whenever we find tension between something Jesus taught and something taught elsewhere in the Bible, the tiebreaker always goes to Jesus. Always.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“Jesus is, and always has been, a person we can expect to be doing things we don't expect him to do, in the places where we don't think he'd be, with the people we didn't think he'd be with. His enemies were those who dedicated themselves to obeying every rule in the Bible. His best friends were sex workers, social misfits, and everyone else the religious leaders had declared were "out." I believe our spiritual journey gets much richer the moment we accept this, and accept that Jesus seems to have not just opted out of our boundary systems entirely, but is actually busy walking behind us and erasing the lines we've drawn.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“But what if there's really no such thing as a crisis of faith? ... What if it just feels like everything is going wrong, but really that instance is a moment when everything is about to go right? ... What if what we often call a faith crisis is actually a divine journey--not from God, or simply to God, but a journey with God?”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“We are rarely conscious of all these things that are killing our faith because they become so enshrined in our belief system. And when we enter into an unexpected process of shedding off those things that we have grown comfortable with... Well, that moment feels like a crisis. It feels like our faith is falling apart. It feels like everything has gone wrong. But I'm convinced it's not a crisis at all, but the birth of a true faith.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“When the opening verses of Genesis say that we were created in the image and likeness of God, it is helpful to remember that this means we are actually created in the image and likeness of LOVE. We were created by love. We were created to receive love. We were created to reflect love. Our entire purpose for existing is to love.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“If there's one thing that moving beyond a fear-based faith taught me, it was that I wanted to be different, or rather, I began to see myself in my full complexity and realized that I was different--and I liked it.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“It's important to remember that Israel's story is a story of being in the process of getting to know God, all before Jesus presents himself as the ultimate revelation of God. It is not unlike other relationships where we need time to fully understand and appreciate the true self and identity of the other person in the relationship. The story involves moments when Israel truly sees God, and moments when they profoundly misunderstand God--both of which are normal parts of any relationship.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“A fear-based faith distorts a lot of things, but what it distorts the most is the reflection we see in the mirror. Fear has a way of reflecting ugliness and distorted realities--lies with the appearance of truth--and gives us the false impression that fear tells the truth while concealing the reality that fear is a liar. It may be a good liar because it mixes fact with fiction, but it's a liar nonetheless. The reflections of fear must never be trusted, no matter how many nuggets of truth may be mixed in those ugly waters.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“saying out loud and naming what you don’t believe anymore breaks the power that fear holds over you. When you do this, you can grow and reshape your lenses, and ultimately yourself and your image of God.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“Orthodoxy and orthopraxy are both important and are both things that Jesus spoke to, but I no longer believe that either of these things belongs in the center of our circles. I think that spot should be reserved for the exact representation of love: Jesus. By erasing my central pursuit of orthodoxy and orthopraxy and replacing it with Jesus, the essence of love, I realized that perhaps Jesus was inviting us to pursue something even better than right thinking or right doing: he was inviting us to pursue a heart that is constantly increasing in is capacity to love.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“Through a lens of navigation, then, we can see that "keeping" isn't about having a perfect, linear or flawless journey; keeping is about having a focus point that you want to keep moving toward.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“We can see that sin is simply anything that disrupts the way life is intended to be. Sometimes we are the ones who do the disrupting; sometimes it's done to us. But never does sin become part of our identity. We are created in the image and likeness of love, and nothing can destroy that.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
tags: god, love, sin
“In this story, we are not God's enemies. We are God's image-bearers and the most precious thing he created. We are not sin but are oppressed by the force of sin. We need saving but not from God or even ourselves--we need saving from all of those many things that interfere with our ability to perfectly reflect and receive love.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
tags: god, love, sin
“As long as we are caving in to the vicious cycle of always trying harder in hopes that one day we won't feel like such an outsider, we are not being obedient to the scriptural principle of living at peace wit ourselves. Instead, we're living in turmoil, and that's not the life Jesus invites us to live.

We are invited to live at peace.
At peace with our neighbors.
At peace with our enemies.
At peace with God.
At peace with ourselves.

And that critical last part means we must be affirming--and not just to others who are different. We need to affirm that place inside us that desperately wants to hear that we are good, that we are beautiful, and that the ways in which we are different are gifts to be celebrated.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“Like many biblical terms we see in scripture, the word "holy" and the call to be holy have often been co-opted by various tribes and adjusted to suit their particular agendas. In my experience, and perhaps this is true for you, too, the call to be holy has been a call to conform. Preachers...then prescribe for us all of the changes we need to make in our lives so that we'll conform to the image and likeness of their particular brand of Christianity. "Holy living," then, becomes a call to conform to the beliefs and practices of a particular group or tribe as evidence that we are truly walking with God.

Although we are called to be imitators of Christ, and to conform to his image and likeness, we must remember that his image and likeness do not conform to any of the various paradigms we like to use to box God in. Holy living, then, becomes conformity with Christ, but radical nonconformity with all those Christian tribes or labels that try to neatly create a limited space where God supposedly lives and works.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“The things that Jesus thought, and the things that Jesus did, were not a clean fit for those whose entire focus had been right thinking or right doing; Jesus was, and still it, altogether different and outside all of our camps and categories.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
tags: jesus
“When we see God through a fear-based lens, we end up with an inaccurate view of ourselves.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
tags: fear, god, love
“Unlike the bounded-set approach where we're constantly trying to measure ourselves up to see whether we're in or out, the centered-set paradigm invites us to ask far more simple and profound questions: "Am I moving toward Jesus? Am I moving toward love?”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“[re: 'keeping the commandments'] I believe that "keeping" speaks more about focus than measuring success on a pass-fail basis. When we keep something, we hold it close to our hearts and allow it to progressively become our object of focus. The action of keeping becomes personal and intimate, not regulated by an outside authority. Whatever we keep becomes an object we love and cherish, and it becomes a center point from which the rest of our lives flow--like a compass.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“Drawing identity from any area other than the source of life is a spiritual death sentence, and worse, it's contagious, because it gives birth to tribalism. However, when we return to our central identity of image-bearers designed to receive love from and reflect love to others, we are naturally invited to shed all of the unloving, fear-based tribal behaviors that come from loyalty to the label.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“Jesus isn't a mirror that reflects back all the reasons why we totally suck. .. Instead, Jesus is the one who says, "Just keep walking toward me, and I will help you increase your capacity to receive and to give love.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith
“Fear-based faith combined with groupthink subconsciously restricts our ability and willingness to consider answers that are beyond the limited, usually binary, options fear presents to us. False binary options tend to go hand in hand with tribalism, and breaking free from the latter will lead you to rejecting the former....[and] we ultimately want to break free from how the group thinks.”
Benjamin L. Corey, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith