Thank You to My Jesus Without Baggage Readers for Making 2017 the Best Year Ever

Jesus without Baggage readers, I want to thank you!

You made 2017 by far the most successful year ever for Jesus without Baggage (in its fifth year). In 2017 the blog had considerably more followers, views, and comments than ever before. Thank you! And I commit in 2018 to offer articles that make a difference and memes and cartoons that make us chuckle and think. A good number of topics are already selected for development.

Even more importantly, those questioning (often fearfully) fundamentalist beliefs they have been taught continually contact me with introductions like, “I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog!” I stick with them as long as they feel the need—answering questions, encouraging them to think for themselves, sharing resources, and providing them with whatever assistance I can to help them continue their journey from fundamentalism or other harmful belief systems.

This is the heart and purpose of Jesus without Baggage—to help those who are beginning to question harmful beliefs they have been taught and to provide a safe place for them to discuss them. And you help me do that by reading, commenting on, and sharing the blog posts; and I very much appreciate those things and the supportive community we have built.

Thank you for being part of the Jesus without Baggage community. ~Tim Chastain

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13 Responses to Thank You to My Jesus Without Baggage Readers for Making 2017 the Best Year Ever

  1. tonycutty says:

    I am one of those people who found your blog to be a breath of fresh air. I’m grateful for all your work 🙂 Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. newtonfinn says:

    While I was not raised in a fundamentalist environment–much the opposite, in fact–a dear friend of mine was so raised, and even now, still sharp in his 80s, can’t entirely remove a nagging fear that by having liberalized his religious thought over the years, he is in jeopardy of going to hell. The staying power of such an overwhelming fear, inculcated at a young and vulnerable age, never ceases to amaze and disturb me. Good work, indeed, that is being done at JWB. Although I enjoy wandering around on New Age-type websites, the necessity of some traditional religious grounding quickly becomes apparent, if only to provide a minimal level of consistency and avoid an individualistic consumerist tendency in modern spiritual life. JWB provides this grounding by holding fast to one essential focus, the life and teaching of Jesus, and thus becomes a continual retelling, in ever-new ways, of the parable of the houses built on sand and rock. Rock on, Tim and friends, in 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Newton, thank you so much for your very kind words.

      It is sad, but true, that some former fundamentalists maintain an angry fear of hell for the rest of their life. Such is the power of this particular indoctrination–no matter that it is without basis.

      Like

    • Chas says:

      Newton, I too am frequently surprised by the long staying power of things that have been put into our minds during childhood. When they are put there then, they certainly seem to go deep.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Chas says:

    Tim, People might think that they have stumbled into your blog, but no-one comes here by chance. Everyone comes here to fulfil God’s purpose for them here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Chas, I think you might be right. It is amazing the number of people over time who actually use the phrase, ‘stumbled onto your blog’ both here and through other communications. I must be open to the possibility that this is no accident!

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  4. Paz says:

    Thanks to you Tim!
    “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:20

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Neecer says:

    I have been reading your blog for a couple of years and while some things I have come to question before, it is certainly nice to hear that I am not the only one to question things. Sometimes, you do really put into words the feelings I have and I appreciate it! I really wish I could talk to my family about what I should stop calling my “crisis of faith”. My faith is still the same in Jesus, but I have a hard time with the threat of hell and burning forever (but as I type this, I realize that, indeed, I AM afraid of burning in hell!). A strong hold over from my upbringing, I am sad to say. Anyway, thank you for your words and I especially like reading the comments for those that take the time to do so!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Neecer, I am glad you like the blog; our purpose is to support those questioning beliefs they have been taught. Let me say that it is common for those on a journey away from conservative beliefs to experience fear of hell; ‘What if I am wrong?’

      This is natural because fear is a major driver in conservative Christianity, and we are constantly warned of the dire consequence of believing the wrong things–eternal hell. If you have not read the articles on hell on this blog, they are collected (along with articles by others) on this page:

      https://jesuswithoutbaggage.wordpress.com/books-and-resources/hell/

      Hopefully, that will help with the fear (even if it is only occasional fear). And I agree with you, we have an excellent group of commenters on this blog that I think makes it even more useful. Thanks for reading and for sharing today.

      Like

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