Rachel Held Evans Has Passed Away. Please Pray for her Husband and Her Two Little Children

Courtesy Photo

Terribly sad news . From Rachel Held Evan’s blog, written by her husband, Dan.

Rachel had been admitted a couple of weeks ago due to medical problems surrounding Influenza A. She developed seizures and was placed in a medical coma.

May 4th, 2019 Update

Rachel was slowly weaned from the coma medication. Her seizures returned but at a reduced rate. There were periods of time where she didn’t have seizures at all. Rachel did not return to an alert state during this process. The hospital team worked to diagnose the primary cause of her seizures and proactively treated for some known possible causes for which diagnostics were not immediately available due to physical limitations.

Early Thursday morning, May 2, Rachel experienced sudden and extreme changes in her vitals. The team at the hospital discovered extensive swelling of her brain and took emergency action to stabilize her. The team worked until Friday afternoon to the best of their ability to save her. This swelling event caused severe damage and ultimately was not survivable.

Rachel died early Saturday morning, May 4, 2019.

This entire experience is surreal. I keep hoping it’s a nightmare from which I’ll awake. I feel like I’m telling someone else’s story. I cannot express how much the support means to me and our kids. To everyone who has prayed, called, texted, driven, flown, given of themselves physically and financially to help ease this burden: Thank you. We are privileged. Rachel’s presence in this world was a gift to us all and her work will long survive her.

Rachel leaves behind her husband and two small children. Please join me and many, many others in praying for them.

 


Comments

Rachel Held Evans Has Passed Away. Please Pray for her Husband and Her Two Little Children — 83 Comments

  1. The way I look at it is that God wanted her because her mission that he wanted her to accomplish was done. Because He is perfect and anything that He allows to happen is a part of His plan It was her time to meet Him face to face and receive her due rewards. Well done my good and faithful servant. May Gods peace comfort this family.

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  2. To Rachel’s loved ones, I am so very, very sorry for your loss. I have no words, just great sadness. Rachel was an incredible person, an incredible writer and a gift to so many. She will be sorely missed. Wishing you comfort and hope.

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  3. Although I knew Rachel had been seriously ill and in a medically induced coma, I am truly stunned at her loss. She touched so many lives and had a deeply positive impact on mine. My tears are on this keyboard tonight.

    Praying for Dan, their young children, and the rest of her family and friends.

    Well done, faithful servant, Eschet Chayil, Woman of Valor. Enter into the joy of your Master.

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  4. There is a christian song out, “Well Done” by the Afters. It so applies here. A friend of mine that I went to school with is also at the end of her life, or may have already passed. Her work on earth was done, but not to her family and friends. Mother’s day is next Sunday. My friend is a grandmother, sister, child, etc. Rachel is at the beginning of her life. My prayers go out to both families. My friend’s family is connected to mine.

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  5. First learned of her death from internetmonk, after following a link to that blog I found in a comment here.

    First heard of her when she strongly dissected Mark Driscoll’s misogynysome yrs ago.

    The evidence of her incredible, extensive influence is found in the numerous testimonials ad outpourings of grief Twitter. #RememberRschel (Ithink that’s the right #)

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  6. This is a great loss to the world, but especially to her very young family.
    With all that is wrong with how Christianity is practiced, she gave me hope and inspired me to be more faithfull in following Jesus.

    Posted on Twitter by Peter Enns

    Depart, O woman of valor, out of this world;
    In the Name of God the Father Almighty who created you;
    In the Name of Jesus Christ who redeemed you;
    In the Name of the Holy Spirit who sanctifies you.
    #BecauseOfRHE

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  7. This devastating. Rachel’s family, my heart and prayers go out to you. I truly cannot imagine the raw grief that you are feeling.

    Rachel’s books provided so much hope to me as I wrestled with my faith after being taken advantage of by Harvest Bible Chapel. God used her powerfully during a prolonged season of doubt. What a treasure she was. She is missed by so many. Her legacy will live on.

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  8. I too am so sad and heavy of heart for Rachel’s husband, children, and the many who learned from her honest, heartfelt insights. I try to remind myself that she is better off, happier than she has ever been; but my human spirit says, ‘Too soon, God, too soon’. May her words live on, to the enlightenment and encouragement of many. May her children someday read them with amazement and joy at what an amazing woman she was, and anticipate a precious reunion. RIP, Rachel Held Evans.

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  9. i’m having a hard time with all the -what seems to me to be- hyper gracious comments in unusually-loving tones from the likes of Mary Kassian, Russell Moore, Tim Keller, Denny Burk,… among others who considered her a villain.

    they may say now, “oh, no, that’s now how i viewed her at all!” good grief, look at your public discourse.

    it strikes me as incredibly 2-faced.

    Mary Kassian, for one, is now commenting about their friendship, how she sent Rachel flowers when she published “A Year Of Biblical Womanhood”. Publicly, Mary ridiculed Rachel.

    The hypocrisy emanating from her just stinks like ripe french cheese and durian fruit in an outhouse on a very warm day.

    but it can get worse — by pouring sugar syrup all it.

    Beth Moore tweeted that their common bond was “being the most hated women in Evangeliworld”, or something like that. (quite a claim to fame)

    but, yes, judging by how these conservative christian celebrities conducted themselves in public, they hated Rachel Held Evans. and fomented others to do the same.

    and now all the noble, lovey-dovey….

    i distinctly remember when Aberto Gonzales resigned from US Attorney General. I don’t remember the circumstances, but ‘unscrupulous’ was a feature.

    At the press conference where he made the announcement, you never saw anyone more noble.

    head held high, gazing with a far away look in his eyes off into the distance, seeing glory and honor that only someone of his calibre could see.

    anyway, that’s what all these sudden RHE supporters & friends remind me of. all this abrupt about-face noble stance calling for prayers, support, and “since the moment we heard my wife have been praying for her”.

    hollow chocolate bunnies, sweet face & all.

    and it all has to do with championing principle over people. with cruelty.

    it’s one thing to denounce people who destroy others through tidy ideology or messy heinous crimes.

    it’s an entirely different category to run a campaign to denounce someone whose crime is simply holding to a different perspective — one that champions people. the least of these.
    standing along side them in kindness, compassion, and elevating them in mutual identity as full-fledged human beings.

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  10. I am sad to hear about Rachel this weekend. So young. Waiting for some time for the children she do desired. So much she had to say and share with the world. I’m not pretending I understand. I don’t. I will be praying for her husband, children, parents, and extended family. For some kind of peace and comfort.

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  11. God is sovereign, and influenza kills. Door locks, seat belts, helmets, life jackets, hand sanitizer . . . flu shots. We put our faith in God and we do the things we can. Praying for the family.

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  12. __

    Soul Injection: “Splashdown Watermark, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    Rachel Held Evans’ detractors believed that she apparently struggled with the ramifications of biblical idea that sin brings death. Those who mounted a stout opposition might have been slightly premature. With her sudden departure at a young age, we may never know. RIP RHE.

    The gathering storm?

    I would not want the illustrious Seth Dunn [1] on my soul lifeguarding team…

    huh?

    Embracing Calvinism, as a religious theological idea system, is an error that will only ultimately bring death to the body of Christ. Augustine, (whom Calvin followed) brought heresy with his literary works to the body of Christ in the fourth century; John Calvin likewise, in the sixteenth century. This has stigmatized it ever since. The teaching of the five points of Calvinism, which his followers developed from his writings, is now known to bring serious error (cancer) to soul health within the body of Christ.

    What?

    Criticizing the errors of others while harboring pet errors of your own is biblical rock throwing at its finest.

    Keep up the good work…

    hahahahaha

    Bbop soul injection?

    Seth, pal, you can keep your lit’ ole ‘log’…

    (grin)

    Sòpy

    [1] https://pulpitandpen.org/2019/05/04/heretical-author-rachel-held-evans-dead-at-age-37/
    Intermission:
    The Brave Little Toaster – “Tutti Frutti”
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lLNqNaKtEY0

    ;~)§

    – –

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  13. Lydia,

    I make no charges, but recall that she was viewed in my former circles as the epitome of wicked, unbiblical feminism, christianity’s own Gloria Steinem. One would not even think of reading her work.

    She dared to challenge all of the sacred cows of fundagelicalism; a mere woman! Frankly, that is all I knew of her, until I heard of her plight a few weeks ago, and only then began to find her beautiful, challenging words that pierced the shell of oppressive, legalistic christianity.

    Rachel penned beautiful words that told women they were valuable, worthy and not permanently consigned to second class. I will continue to read her writings, and thank God for the woman who more or less paved the way out for many trapped in the darkness of ‘biblical’ patriarchy. She will be greatly missed, but left a marvelous legacy.

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  14. Lydia: Beakerj:
    It is absolutely tragic.

    Rest in peace & rise in glory Rachel.

    (And to those whose only response will be glee that God has ‘judged’ an uppity woman, go boil your heads).

    Oh my word! Who has done that?!

    Lori Alexander, for one. Makes me sick. I hear what you’re saying, elastigirl, about hypocrisy, but at least the folks you name had some human decency in what they chose to say immediately following Rachel’s death.

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  15. bendeni: Lori Alexander, for one. Makes me sick. I hear what you’re saying, elastigirl, about hypocrisy, but at least the folks you name had some human decency in what they chose to say immediately following Rachel’s death.

    Good point about the folks elastigirl has mentioned.
    The ‘men’ at Pulpit and Pen?
    They have no human decency.

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  16. Dear God. Please do not let anyone tell Dan or the children that God needed Rachel more than they did.
    All have sinned. All fall short of the glory of God. Rachel seemed to be a much better person than I will ever be, yet here I am at the age of 60, still kicking.
    The ways of God are not our ways.
    Death gets us all, eventually.
    I grieve for the loss of Rachel. She was/is a sister in Christ.
    Her death will never make rational sense to me. But I still trust God.

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  17. I deeply appreciate and echo the thoughts shared in this post in honor of Rachel. I didn’t have the courage to say what this author said, even though I share her grief, anger and questions for God:

    “Today I was laying on the couch, hot tears pouring across my face and pooling in my ear, attempting to take in this loss and reading the reflections of her friends and family. I am grateful for Rachel’s impact on my life. I am also sad, and I am angry, and I have so many questions for God. I don’t know why God didn’t miraculously heal her. How wonderful it would be, I thought over the past weeks as we prayed, for God to heal her completely, amazing her doctors and all of us! How much that would bolster the faith of those who prayed so haltingly. And God didn’t, and that’s confusing and hard, and I want to know why. So I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the age to come, and I’m also upset with God. As I was trying to find words for these thoughts, I found something Rachel wrote on grief in 2012, and I’ll let her have the final word: “So let’s grieve together. And let’s give one another the space to be shocked, to be pissed, to appeal to God, to be angry with God, to find peace in God, to question God, to want to take action, to want to wait, to blame, to pray, to be afraid, to be speechless, to vent, to lament, to speak up, to be silent, to pull our families close to us, to need some time alone.”

    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2019/05/06/grieving-and-celebrating-rachel-held-evans/

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  18. TS00: “So let’s grieve together. And let’s give one another the space to be shocked, to be pissed, to appeal to God, to be angry with God, to find peace in God, to question God, to want to take action, to want to wait, to blame, to pray, to be afraid, to be speechless, to vent, to lament, to speak up, to be silent, to pull our families close to us, to need some time alone.”

    These words are deeply comforting. Thank you for posting them. She was so perceptive and wise.

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  19. elastigirl,

    I totally disagree with you, and I can only hope you are young.

    There are people in life that we totally disagree with, and that sometimes we battle with in the arena of ideas for years. But, when they die, you try to acknowledge the good in them.

    People on this website have tackled many people. Criticized them. -some more than others.

    Let’s give an example. Mark Driscoll isn’t so admired here. But if he died in the next few months, I’d like to think people could still acknowledge something good about him, and feel for his wife and children.

    It’s a tough world we live in. There are politicians and ministers I VEHEMENTLY disagree with. But, when people die, it’s over. You can argue with the things they said and did, but at least a couple of days of silence or niceties are okay aren’t they?

    If certain people said absolutely nothing, they would probably be criticized for that.

    I wonder if you are young. It seems to me that young people can keep their anger and indignation throughout any circumstances.

    I thought it was nice for people to say nice things.

    Maybe I’m old. And maybe I’m old fashioned.

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  20. TS00,

    To be honest, i’m asking God all the time.

    Its almost too hard to ask that God would comfort people because i get pangs of doubt haunting me saying that if I prayed and God didn’t heal or protect someone, why do I believe that He will comfort them.

    And yes, I’m just a guy who has some prayers unanswered that cripple me, while someone else gets a car park or some other frivolous thing.

    I haven’t seen many miracles lately.

    But that could be my fault.

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  21. Justaguy,

    am i young….

    well, i saw Star Wars in a theater that had a smoking section and had to sleep on the floor in my parents’ room Darth Vader scared me so much.

    i’m old enough to have shed the idealism of college and post-college.

    i feel 34.

    ok, that’s done…. now, to collect my thoughts to give you a real good response….

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  22. I was devastated to find out Rachel was taken. I lost my son in law a year ago, aged 29. His whole life was ahead of him. How I wept and wept and prayed for him whilst he was in a coma after an MRSA infection, exacerbated by his diabetes type 1.

    I honestly find it hard to pray now. I will never understand why the most heartfelt, desperate prayers I have prayed for someone’s life don’t work.
    So I am doing what I can to appreciate Rachel’s legacy, I’m reading her book Searching for Sunday what an incredible woman she is.
    Don’t know what else to say..just that I want to acknowledge the gifts she left for us.

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  23. The Low Sparrow,

    yes, i feel as you do, as well.

    my mom suffered with mutiple conditions, one of which the doctors could never figure out. (….we can put people on the moon but we can’t figure out the human body?)

    she suffered. there was no shortfall of prayer of prayers of faith (as opposed to prayers of wishing).

    totally disillusioning.

    but i still pray.

    some things move more easily by prayer. some things are much harder to move by prayer, without a supernatural burst of explosive assistance.

    why God is so gosh darn selective (or arbitrary) about that… I and God will have words when i can look God in the eye and say “Well? Well? What do you have to say for yourself?”

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  24. Justaguy,

    “There are people in life that we totally disagree with, and that sometimes we battle with in the arena of ideas for years. But, when they die, you try to acknowledge the good in them.

    ….There are politicians and ministers I VEHEMENTLY disagree with. But, when people die, it’s over. You can argue with the things they said and did, but at least a couple of days of silence or niceties are okay aren’t they?

    If certain people said absolutely nothing, they would probably be criticized for that.

    I wonder if you are young. It seems to me that young people can keep their anger and indignation throughout any circumstances.

    I thought it was nice for people to say nice things.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    i’ve been working on my well-thought-out response. it may be too much for the occasion, not sure.

    but i can boil it down to this:

    why didn’t these christian leaders didn’t acknowledge the good in Rachel before she died? it’s a little late now, I’d say.

    I mean, for someone who professes to be a christian.

    especially someone who is regarded as a “christian leader” (through whatever means of strategic promotion that came about).

    (whether or not I am young, we’ve already dealt with that — but not what it means)

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  25. Muff Potter: The ‘men’ at Pulpit and Pen?

    Does this surprise anybody?
    (Remember Braxton Caner?)

    DID YOU REALLY EXPECT ANYTHING OTHER THAN GLOATING AND CROWING IN TRIUMPH FROM THESE F’ERS?

    God is SOOOOOOO lucky to have them sitting at His right hand at the Great White Throne on J-Day, whispering in His ear like Grima Wormtongue about who’s REALLY Saved and who’s not. What would God ever do without Pulpit & Pen?

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  26. So I made the mistake of going to see what P & P had to say about Rachel Held Evans. How dare they, how dare they declare that Rachel is probably in hell? Because she doesn’t peddle the same bill of goods that they do? (Do yourself a favor – don’t read their post if you have blood pressure issues.)

    I have only visited them once before. I hope to never do so again. Pretty much the worst of the worst of arrogant, self-righteous, condemning fundagelicalism. Pitiful and embarrassing to those who bear the name of Christ.

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  27. elastigirl,

    “why didn’t these christian leaders didn’t acknowledge the good in Rachel before she died? it’s a little late now, I’d say.”

    For the same reason, that not many here acknowledge the good in the people that are contending with. Mark Driscoll, other Pastors here that are criticized. Are they nazis? Is there absolutely no good in them at all?

    I’m sure one day you will want to say something nice about someone to their family after they die, and yet you never said it while you were arguing against their politics.

    If you aren’t young, you should think a little more about life.

    We can disagree on this. I’ll just stand by what I say. There are people that we engage with to debate ideas. We might even think those ideas are totally wrong and even dangerous. During those debates, we may not get around to saying how nice they are as a person. Not every person gets around to saying something nice about someone they are arguing with. If they do then, let everyone here mention the nice things about Stetzer before they go on about his car gift.

    But, most decent people when they hear of a death, put their swords away.

    You can attack people for a lot of things. Saying nice things on the passing of an idealogical rival or even enemy is not something I would condemn someone for.

    Maybe I’ve see a lot more hate and suffering than you.

    Have a nice day.

    If you want to be continually angry about the nice things said, go ahead.

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  28. TS00,

    Okay, so I went to Pulpit and Pen for the first time to see what you were talking about.

    Incredible. Horrible people aren’t they?

    I never read any of their stuff before, so I assume they may have had articles agains the theology of Rachel

    So, Elastic Girl. Here again is what I think.

    If they had any decency, if they really had to say anything on her passing, they could have just said. “While we here, totally disagreed with most of what Rachel said, we are so sorry to hear of her passing, and pray God’s comfort for her family and loved ones. We know that she loved God and like us did her best to understand God and His Word. We regret that we couldn’t have met her and talked on a personal level. They fact that her passing is mourned by so many people gives testament to what a wonderful person she was.”

    Or something like that.

    Most of us are really trying our best to do and say what is right.

    For what it’s worth – no I don’t understand why she died, and I don’t think it was God’s timing or God’s fault.
    I understand when people say God takes people when their work is done, but if I were God I could think of better ways than cancer and strokes etc.
    And I’d say “YOu’re work is done, but you can stay longer to just hang around with your kids”

    I don’t know many children who ever get closer to God after being told that God took their parents because they were finished their jobs.

    Let’s hope medical science advances to the point where young women can survive her condition.

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  29. Justaguy: Let’s hope medical science advances to the point where young women can survive her condition.

    It is highly likely that Rachel had a viral infection that became an encephalitis. Although rare, it happens and you will occasionally read of small children and others who die of this. Treating a viral infection in the brain is very, very difficult.

    There is a lesson here for all of us. With medical treatments these days, we tend to blow off chicken pox, measles, the flu, etc. There are parents who, eschewing vaccinations, will expose their kids to chicken pox, hoping for a life long immunity .It’s a great idea unless your kid is one of the few kids whose chicken pox leads to multiple organ shut down. I’ve seen it happen.

    Medicine is wonderful. My daughter is alive today due to neurosurgeons who were skilled in their approach. Each year it gets better. My psoriatic arthritis is now better due to the recent discoveries of better drugs.

    But, I always remember what my daughter’s pediatric neurosurgeon said to me. “I feel like a caveman when I’m operating on the brain.”

    My heart goes out to Rachels family. What a horrific shock and such overwhelming pain.

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  30. Justaguy: Mark Driscoll, other Pastors here that are criticized. Are they nazis? Is there absolutely no good in them at all?

    I have followed the entire Mark Driscoll story from the beginning. Driscoll caused so much pain for so many people. You probably should read about his history and what he did before you attempt to bring him into the same discussion as Evans. One may disagree with her theology but she was a kind person who really tried to help others. Just don’t attempt to go there.

    As for whether Driscoll has any good in him, I’ll leave that up to God.But, I will give you one tiny point. Anne Frank once said that everyone has a little good in them. She was referring to the Nazis. I wonder if that was based on some internal hope because there is no question in my mind that the Nazi leaders embodied pure evil.

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  31. You probably should read up on the Nazis and the Holocaust before you bring them up into a discussion about mark Driscoll.

    Okay. I’ll leave it there. Feel free to be angry about certain people saying nice things about Rachel.

    But I doubt she’d be upset about old opponents saying nice things about her.

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  32. elastigirl: why God is so gosh darn selective (or arbitrary) about that… I and God will have words when i can look God in the eye and say “Well? Well? What do you have to say for yourself?”

    It appears to have no rhyme and no reason.

    Kind and good young women are cut down in their goodness, and old wicked men prosper even longer in their wickedness.

    And in this life?

    I agree with the writer of Ecclesiastes that …time and chance happeneth to them all… — Almost like a great big roulette wheel.

    Which is why (for me) I no longer concern myself with the whys and wherefores, but rather, I’ve learned to treasure every moment with my loved ones, knowing full well that it can get cut short way too soon.

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  33. Justaguy,

    You misunderstood what I said so don’t try to blame you walking away from the faith on me. Just so you understand, my stepfather was Jewish and was a Holocaust survivor. I spent half a day in the Holocaust Museum in Israel this past January. Not only have I read extensively on the Holocaust, I have had family and family friends who survived the nazis.

    Read yourself. You brought up the word *nazis*, not me. I did not say that Driscoll was like the nazis. In fact, I do not like anyone being compared to nazis except Nazis on this blog and have disallowed those comments. Good night!

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  34. Justaguy,

    i’m still working on my best response to you. not to win any argument, but to disclose my perspective as succinctly as i can. you’ve presumed much.

    this is just a *BONUS* thought (for added fun!). an observation:

    you appear to have a fair amount of anger and indignation yourself. towards people, towards God. i won’t chastise you for it, please don’t chastise others for it.

    that is what it means to be a human being with a heart that feels and a brain that is awake.

    we hopefully are moving towards being able to hold on to joie de vivre more and more in the midst of philosophical consternation.

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  35. I have never been mistaken for a Pollyanna. Understatement. But in all seriousness, even a cynic like myself tends to believe that the vast majority of people mean well. Even the people I disagree deeply with, be it theological, political, scientific, or just overall worldview.

    I have been accused more than once of being a Conspiracy Theorist, and I suppose I am, but not so much in the way most people mean when they cast the words around.

    I do believe that there is a power of darkness; call it the Devil, Satan, demons, anti-Christ, the beast, whatever. And I believe scripture explains that his main tool, and really only available one since Jesus defeated him, is deception.

    So, yes, many things that you, I and countless others believe are good, progressive, life improving often turn out, in the long run, to cause more harm than the good they promised. That does not require that all of the people who believed in, perpetuated and proselytized the deception were ‘in on it’.

    Let’s use weaponized germs as an example. It would be pure evil to create deliberately deadly germs, in my opinion. And yet many do, with the USA being the chief perpetrator. The explanation, of course, is that it is simply defensive. And I am fairly sure that most of the guys and gals in the trenches doing the actual research believe they are serving a trustworthy and well-meaning cause. I have my great doubts.

    But even were the vast majority of mankind someday wiped out by ill-used weaponized germs, I would not declare the Jane’s and Joe’s who worked on them evil; most never thought for a second that their work would go toward such a horrible, unthinkable crime. They truly believed that they needed to stay one step ahead of the real evil people, and come up with preventatives and antidotes. Most of the folks at Harvest never set out to grow and feed a narcissistic, manipulative monster.

    Most of us truly mean well. And we’re just doing our weak, imperfect, troubled best with what we’ve got. Few wake up every morning seeking who they may devour, but scripture does warn that the genuinely wicked do so. I just happen to believe, maybe I simply want to believe, that such genuinely wicked beings are actually few in number, and the rest of us are more or less ignorant, deceived and misled. Thus, we might give one another the same grace we so deeply need ourselves.

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  36. Justaguy,

    so, here it is. not as succinct as i had hoped. but i wanted to submit something.

    first, i’ve seen and experienced more suffering than you could imagine. now on to other things.

    you mention arguing over politics, ideas.

    Where I have difficulty is the fact that in the religious realm, politics and ideas are often human beings. Human beings with faces.

    Those arguing reduce these human faces to lifeless ideas. Ideas to kick around.

    Ideas that turn into Statements and rules. These Statements and rules are made with relative ease as they tumble out from on high. It appears that no thought or consideration is given to who they land on and how they land.

    It doesn’t matter.

    What matters is the purity of ideology. Sound doctrine and theology.

    Principle over people.

    Rachel was troubled over this. She saw the human faces. Felt compassion. She got to know them. Listened to them. Saw what it’s like when statements and rules from on high land at ground zero. She saw the destruction, the devastation, the ostracism, the loneliness…. The sheer dehumanization.

    the astounding hypocrisy.

    (ie-“please lie about your sexuality and your perspective for the sake of our organization and its donors.”)

    (ie- “we love you and we welcome you but you are not welcome unless you look like us, sound like us, move like us, agree to live a solitary life, never expect us to shake your hand, and we reserve the right to look down with suspicion on all of your friendships. It’s better for us that way. Afterall, you are tainted goods.”)

    (ie-“for God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosover believes him Him shall not perish but has eternal life — as long as you like us, sounds like us, move like us, ….” –same as above)

    I imagine she reasoned there’s something wrong with theology that destroys people (not to mention stinks with hypocrisy). She stood for compassion. For the dignity of human beings.

    She was not seen as an opponent. She was labeled a heretic for this by those who chose to stand for purity of ideology. This wasn’t a debate of ideas.

    I have difficulty with those who, in the name of God, choose callous, cruel-but-neat-&-tidy ideology (whether they understand this or not) and dole out their worst punishment (legally, that is) for someone simply because of her compassion.

    I have great difficulty that only her death will prompt kindness and a willingness to see the good.

    all because she was compassionate and had the courage of her convictions. and championed people over principle.

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  37. Hey elastigirl… you don’t owe him or anyone else an explanation, nor does he have the right to demand one. He’s likely trolling a *lot* of peoples’ posts per RHE’s death.

    To Dan, their children, her parents, and all of their family and friends – i am so sorry for your loss.

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  38. dee: There are parents who, eschewing vaccinations, will expose their kids to chicken pox, hoping for a life long immunity .It’s a great idea unless your kid is one of the few kids whose chicken pox leads to multiple organ shut down. I’ve seen it happen.

    Even if that Brady Bunch episode says “measles are fun!”
    (Yes, the anti-vaxxers actually cited a Brady Bunch episode as PROOF of their cause.)

    “Vhat about usink the Goof Gas, Boris?”
    “Somebody already did, Natasha.”

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  39. dee: I have followed the entire Mark Driscoll story from the beginning. Driscoll caused so much pain for so many people. You probably should read about his history and what he did before you attempt to bring him into the same discussion as Evans

    To know “Deep Throat” Driscoll is NOT to like him.

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  40. T500, thanks for your reply.
    Elasti girl.
    I have no anger, no indignation. None at all.

    Dee, all I said was the Driscoll (and it was just an example) is not a Nazi. You went on a lot about it.
    But it’s your blog.
    And I’m not blaming you for my loss of faith in Christianity.

    As for the person who said I was a troll – all i originally said was that I don’t think its good to attack people for saying nice things about someone when they die (even if you vehemently disagreed with them),

    If for saying that I’m a troll – then that’s my point. Christians love hating on each other. I’m tired of it.

    Back to elastigirl. If the people who said nice things about Rachel had previously said she was a heretic, then they probably thought that.

    For them, IF she stated that it was okay to be a homosexual engaging in sexual acts and still be in ministry or be considered for leadership, then it’s not surprising some people said that.

    You can be a really nice person and have beliefs that put you in a position where people can’t accept you as being orthodox.

    For what it’s worth, if someone called me a troll or a heretic, it wouldn’t bother me. To many I am.

    But if I died or my wife died, and they said nice things, i wouldn’t attack them over it.

    I’ve worked with people from so many different denominations and religions.

    Anyway, I should make this my last comment here.

    Go ahead and be angry with people saying nice things. Go ahead and hate Driscoll and feel justified in not saying nice things when he died.

    People here obviously understand Christianity more than me.

    PS thanks T500.

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  41. Justaguy: . Go ahead and hate Driscoll

    You don’t get it or maybe you don’t want to understand. I do not hate Driscoll.I deeply disagree with his theology and actions which hurt many, many people. I’m mad at him and don’t believe he should be in the pulpit. No one here said Driscoll was a nazi. You brought that word up, not us.

    I would love to find out what is realty going on inside of you. The fact you keep mentioning Driscoll leads me to wonder if you were one of his fans.

    As for RHE, I had my personal opinions of her thoughts and even had some behind the scenes discussions with her. I’ve decided that I’m not going to discuss that at this time. Instead, I think that RHE forced many of us to think about what we really believe. Instead of continuing to write a well respected humor column for the news, she cared so much about her thoughts on faith that she put it out there, challenging all of us to think.

    I am so sad for her family, husband and children and will continue to pray for them. In fact, I stopped and prayed for you this morning as well.

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  42. I can’t believe P&P has the nerve to speak ill of the dead. Oh wait…yes, I can. Shame, shame, shame on them. 🙁 My husband died at age 44 and it smashed my soul to smithereens. It’s been almost 14 years and I’m still just a broken zombie limping along to the finish line (and kinda wish God would hasten the day). If someone spoke ill of my husband, I would not turn the other cheek, no, I would give them a bloody nose.

    I feel so much sympathy for Rachel’s husband and her darling little children.They will be in my prayers. There is a long, painful road ahead for them but I fervently pray their hearts will be restored and they will again find happiness in this life.

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  43. IMO, when people who vehemently disagreed with someone (to the point of labeling and consigning eternal judgement) and then speak glowingly of them when they pass on, they are simply using the death as a crass from of marketing to their base.

    The base responds to the negativity and reinforces their shared belief system. It’s just a tool used by tools. With their mouths they speak a blessing and a curse. These things ought not to be so.

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  44. I think that when anyone human, on this earth, presumes to speak for God in the matters of life and death, they have no idea what they are talking about. To presume to speak for God is the height of arrogance.

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  45. “they are simply using the death as a crass from of marketing to their base.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    i think this is a good crystallization of what is bothering me. (look at that — a good portion of my nebulous troubled feeling, distilled down into a handful of words).

    from heretic to glowing-terms-upon-death absolutely feels like marketing for themselves. a public relations ploy.

    it agree, justaguy, it is nice. a nice thing to do.

    it also feels like marketing/public relations. first, co-opting her compassion & courage of her convictions for the purpose of building their brand and the in-group,… and then co-opting her death for the same reason.

    i can’t help but have a sick feeling.

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  46. Not a fan of Mark Driscoll and never was.
    I have a history of disagreeing with people and not liking them but feeling sorry for them when they end up getting demonized with every man and his dog piling on.

    People these days more than ever seem to delight in being part of a stoning crowd and throwing one more crowd.

    “My husband died at age 44 and it smashed my soul to smithereens. It’s been almost 14 years and I’m still just a broken zombie limping along to the finish line”

    That’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever read.
    And I understand the feeling.
    I’ll use that name on social media from now on .

    God bless you all

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  47. Broken Zombie (formerly justaguy): I have a history of disagreeing with people and not liking them but feeling sorry for them when they end up getting demonized with every man and his dog piling on.

    Then let me challenge you. Have you gone after Driscoll and his fanboys who hurt so many people? I documented a number of stories on this blog. I would hope that you would reach out to them and pray for them prior to your “let’s stop stoning Driscoll” initiative. Driscoll is living large in a beautiful, expensive home in Scottsdale with lots of money and his own church. Some of the people who he threw under the bus are still in therapy.

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  48. The Low Sparrow: I honestly find it hard to pray now. I will never understand why the most heartfelt, desperate prayers I have prayed for someone’s life don’t work.

    I think this is the essence of what it means to be human and in relationship with God. Sooner or later what you’ve described happens to all of us and we are devastated. Like people mourning Rachel’s death now.

    I am encouraged by this: Jesus told Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matthew 16:23)

    Startling words. But if I’m honest I think God would say that to me at times about my perspective and my prayers. I don’t see the whole picture so I’ve asked for things that God won’t do because he’s working out something I can’t see.

    Or God can’t answer my prayers because he does not force anyone to repent. Result- unrepentant people do harm to themselves and others. They suffer. We suffer.

    All that to say you are not alone when it comes to disappointment in prayer. I hope you can keep praying anyway and that God will show you his bigger picture as time goes on.

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  49. Justaguy: For what it’s worth – no I don’t understand why she died, and I don’t think it was God’s timing or God’s fault.
    I understand when people say God takes people when their work is done, but if I were God I could think of better ways than cancer and strokes etc.
    And I’d say “YOu’re work is done, but you can stay longer to just hang around with your kids”

    And that the truth- none of us know why Rachel died last week and we didn’t.

    Everywhere around the world people want to believe every illness, every death has a 1:1 correspondence to something that person did or didn’t do in this life. But that’s too simplistic.

    The disciples asked Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. (John 9:1-3)

    Wade Burleson wrote a great piece
    (https://www.wadeburleson.org/2019/04/when-talk-doesnt-match-walk-others-will.html)
    about how Christians spiritualize everything. He was talking about how people cover their grab for power by saying “God has led us” but he could just as easily have been referring to the Christian propensity to make up reasons why things happen.

    Muff Potter: I agree with the writer of Ecclesiastes that …time and chance happeneth to them all… —

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  50. Fisher: Wade Burleson wrote a great piece
    (https://www.wadeburleson.org/2019/04/when-talk-doesnt-match-walk-others-will.html)
    about how Christians spiritualize everything. He was talking about how people cover their grab for power by saying “God has led us” but he could just as easily have been referring to the Christian propensity to make up reasons why things happen.

    Who was it that said “The phrase ‘God Led Me To…’ should be spoken with the same aution and forethought as ‘Please Castrate Me’.”?

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  51. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    well, that was me!

    (well, i stole it from Richard Curtis’ film “Bernard And The Genie”, and made it the christian edition)

    original line was, “use the words “God is leading me to” with the same caution you would normally reserve for “Please castrate me.”

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  52. ♪♩♪♩hum, hum, hum…“Like the sun through the trees you came to bless us,
    Like a leaf on a breeze you blew away,
    Our world will be forever autumn, because you’re not here…”

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  53. __

    “Rachel died early Saturday morning, May 4, 2019. This entire experience is surreal. I keep hoping it’s a nightmare from which I’ll awake. I feel like I’m telling someone else’s story. I cannot express how much the support means to me and our kids. To everyone who has prayed, called, texted, driven, flown, given of themselves physically and financially to help ease this burden: Thank you. We are privileged. Rachel’s presence in this world was a gift to us all and her work will long survive her.” -Dan Evans

    https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/health-updates

    – –

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