Atheist and agnostic folks won’t like whatever I have to say anyway so love to you all. Hopeful agnosticism isn’t anything more than a made up phrase like “will it taco?” This makes me frustrated because of the amount of influence they’re having on a generation of bright young people—men and women who will never find meaning in anything they’re saying. I love when Rhett quoted John 6:68: “Lord, to whom shall we go? Nevertheless, they were willing to “strain out a gnat and swallow a camel,” adopting more fashionable, if not necessarily more reasonable positions that would cost them nothing. This piece is judgmental, condescending, and even petty in places. The author goes so far as to say that it was “fear” of Evangelical Christian reaction which may have driven them to be silent about this. You can’t get marginalized before you’ve made it, because marginalization means you’ll never “live your dream.” Consequently, authentic Christianity is risky to ascribe to, and easier not to talk about, which essentially means you start to live a double life. That’s what I think these posts are grappling to describe. Thanks for your write up. Rhett’s only mention of the Holy Spirit was in recounting an emotional experience at a Cru conference. of the internet duo, Rhett and Link. I was looking for something online to guide a convo with my kids about the Rhett and Link fallout from a few weeks ago. It would seem after 32 years people prefer sugar to health. Dating is hard...especially when you add the complexity of social media and texting. Long: I did, however, notice a gradual shift in their content towards more adult, more worldly topics and trends. Kids trust them. However, despite my sincerest efforts, the more arguments I read, the sillier Christianity seemed. Our feelings, passions, desires, and pain can cause us to compromise our integrity, accept mutually exclusive ideas, ignore or deny facts, and many other results that are logically inconsistent. After watching all the videos, my conclusion was that Rhett and Link are a product of the church environment, not followers of Jesus Christ. Get off your high horse. Its a sign that said person doesn’t have a false sense of self importance and doesn’t pretend to be sure of things they realistically can’t be. Thank you Shelby for what you have said. More worrisome, why would he not care if he is really following the truth? God is still on the throne and there is power in prayer. They aren’t forcing their opinions on anyone, they are clearly just stating them. I put my faith on the chopping block, and wanted to pursue truth wherever it took me, even if it meant to reject the faith I’d grew up in. It’s just not for me. I know his parents well. I find myself drawn to works by authors who have died in the faith, and sometimes I imagine an Amish couple saying,”That’s why we only read the Bible, and our life is very plain.” This was more hurtful than anything that Rhett and Link said. I appreciate your honest, thoughtful, perspective. Yours, mine and the author’s (Shelby Abbott) are indeed, very powerful. It is a sliver of hope that they each say they are open to change and want the conversation to continue. Thanks for posting this. How does that happen? I often wondered why with such a large audience and influence, they would never broach important spiritual topics or ever once mention Jesus. It is not reflective of the faith as a whole but it is so worrying hat it pushed them out. I know as a mom myself that I made so many grave mistakes raising my family, in spite of pouring myself into it and doing literally the best I could. Why do their personal journeys deserve rebuttal? You are completely dismissing the struggles that a human being went through simply because they fell away from something they didn’t identify with anymore. What this seems to boil down to is something I struggled with when I was younger. I bought none of Rhett and Link’s “reasons.” I am sad. Plenty of people here in Buies Creek may have a different take on all of it, but they do not have followers who will tune in. I also mentioned Jesus’ letters to the believing church in Revelation 2 & 3. It seems to me that God could just show up and clear this whole thing up for everybody. Take a page from Rhett and Link’s book and maybe focus on peace and love. Jimmy sits down with Good Mythical Morning's Rhett & Link for one of their popular "Will It?" All along they thought that Jesus and compassion they now have for gays were opposed, and yet they tried to convert others to their former Christian beliefs? Thank you, Shelby. He feared man more than God. Being so closed minded must be exhausting. Total length through episode 1800: 1w 4d 9h 44m 34s Shortest episode: 310 (1m 9s) Longest episode: 1800 (26m 14s) Average length through episode 1800: 10m 51s Episode | Title | Notes/Summary 275 | Back to School | They explain Good Mythical More. I pray that they continue to seek Truth and that He will show Himself to them again in a way they will appreciate and understand! Their individual Saul (sinner) to Paul (forgiven) experiences birthed out of this world acts of gratitude for the rest of thir lives. Now I’m here to tell you that beliefs about obvious truths can, and do, change. He made really good points and is totally welcome here. I’m already forgiven. They are asking questions. How could you just walk away from Jesus for reasons you can’t even defend?! Rebellion against southern cultural Christianity, rebellion against the Christian narrative, rebellion against the narrow belief system that Christ is the only way to God, rebellion against the unified agreement of the 2,000 year-old biblical sexual ethic, et cetera. The “hopeful agnostic” faith is absolutely not foundationally solid, just as Christianity is as soon as you take away the millions of people behind it. They say that they only now relate to woman and gays. acting like they were working cuz link doesn't know Ellie's boyfriend. Rhett and Link said they wanted to connect with an audience—but what is the value of a connection when there isn’t authenticity? Thank you for posting these words. They are trying to learn about God in their own time and own way. I think what this article and maybe people’s responses are grasping at words to describe might be that in every culture there are aspects that we can’t see. I read this, went to YouTube, and happened to hear the snippet at 1:17 of “Link’s Spiritual Reconstruction,” where he asserts that he doesn’t want to be an atheist, that he wants to be open to a relationship with God if there is one. I went on summer project (SITC NYC ’03! North American culture of the past decades has indeed been easy; especially in pockets of the United States where aspects of Christian are assumed and imparted in ones lives just because “it is.” Discipleship truly in many ways was usurped and replaced with programs, methods, youth groups, christian concerts, and Christians doing the same things that the world does just with a Christian label (I know this because I lived it and by God’s grace I waded through the noise). Historical ones. the segregation that comes with religion is cultist. I know for me personally it feels amazing to know I’m not the only one who grew up in a southern Christian home and realized much later that I was so, so wrong. Thank you for sharing this Seth. This is just a response from someone who also wrestles with doubt especially when those from the Christianity turn away. I’m sorry you’ve been hurt by these judgmental responses. They include beta-blockers, corticosteroids, … Glad to hear your perspective and your still working to change the lives of people. Is all of this truly so black and white to the rest of you? It’s my conviction that every King David needs a Prophet Nathan to call them out on obvious mistakes. Your response is exactly why Christians with doubts don’t speak aloud of them, we have to wrestle internally because of the judgement. It shouldn’t be a battle… I don’t think Rhett and Link wanted it to be a battle. Was a beauty queen-turned-teacher murdered by former student? They will run out of people who will want to hear them, and then what? Maybe the anonymity of the internet made it easy to gossip and judge. Jesus himself said in Luke 12:48, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” All of us haven given different levels of time, talent and treasures. 4 years after I had rejected my Christian life, God showed me His mercy and His unmerited grace. But I watched so, so many of my friends end up rejecting their faith and I still mourn for them. Is being a jerk about them selling dog hoodies your way of “being sad for them?” Like, does that have any relevance to them losing their eternal salvation (according to you)? They influence my 21 yr old and I am so sad and angry that God has allowed their confusion to be broadcasted. It allows people with Type 2 diabetes to improve their blood-sugar control and insulin sensitivity, in large part by reducing the amount of sugar released by the liver into the blood. I’m hoping it can be a lesson to the rest of us to run our race with perseverance and get rid of those things that hinder us. Your article is full of critiques and judgement on two individuals own faith and actions…they are the ones accountable for it. Instead you dismiss them as the age old story of gaining wealth and leaving God. I was an emcee, a worship leader, a discipleship leader and outreach leader. Really? Ugh. They are also my friends, and it seems as though, from my vantage point, you are using your peripheral involvement in their lives as an opportunity to drop names, seek your own limelight, and not seek to understand, but cast judgment and ridicule. New comedic commercial from Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal a YouTube hit. While, I understand where you’re coming from, it is downright toxic. How could he right when he walked and talked with Christ for years? The father knew what his son would do and let him. It made me sad also. I’ve been feeling waves and waves of sadness after listening to their “spiritual deconstruction” podcasts. Went on enough missionary type trips. I know this may seem like it is preaching to the choir; but I read this and do not see this as a slight against their parents or even that grace did exist where they are from; but more or less based on their perspectives and thoughts on their past it revealed that they were blind to see and interact with grace. Hi, Patrick. A lack of foundation does not at all give you the right to compare something that is deeply meaningful to these two men to one of their comedy vlogs. 3. I have been praying for them every since I heard about this. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your story with me. I used to watch Rhett and Link with my kids about 5-6 years ago. Even Bart Ehrman has modified his positions since Rhett’s “deconstruction’ in 2014—how does he not know that? It’s confusing to me that that you say you’re heartbroken, but you deny your “old friends” the courtesy of believing them and sitting with them in their heartbreak. I recently went through a “deconstruction” of my faith and it has been the scariest, most difficult time in my life. Just wondering if you even thought there was a possibility that they’d engage with you on this very topic. The more I dwell into wanting to make the bible the ultimate book of truth the more I was finding stories like how jesus killed a dragon in one of the rejected gospels. It strikes a nerve for me because I’ve spent the last decade digging really, really deep into the foundations of Christianity, because my faith meant a lot to me and I was trying to find evidence to bolster my belief. Why do you think they all beg for money to “go on mission” and “future build”? But after talking a lot with my parents, listening to John Piper, Tim Keller, Ravi Zacharias, and now reading this article, I’m feeling much more sure of my faith, and I’m praying the Holy Spirit continues to show the hope and love of God in Christ. They’ve spent the last 12 years or so up to their eyeballs in the world of YouTube, and that world is vicious. You quote them thus: *I know what some of you are going to say…,” and “I’ve already read all the arguments for this,” and “Don’t send us article links or book recommendations,” and “I know Christians think…,”*. I’m sorry but it’s baffling. The difference between you and Rhett/Link is that Rhett and Link tried to stay believers for a long time. All we can do is live as best we can according to the principles of the Bible and hope we can lead by example. This isn’t the Christ I see in the Bible at all.”. We all loved Rhett so much and will continue to pray for him, Link and their families. I will be praying more earnestly for Rhett & Link and their families. So they stepped away from their religion, so what? Thanks for the biblical, well thought out response of truth in a time of so much cultural confusion. Is it so wrong to not want everyone and their mom to criticize you and your character? If your goal is to win people to Christ and not just surround yourself with likeminded individuals, I highly recommend you switch up your strategy. Thank you for this article and reminder, I guess this is what really gets me about that first section. Was always a highlight of the week especially when I was on staff and help two students get on stage with their mustard and ketchup outfits. in a condescending way? “It really hit home for me, I just felt like, this is a big deal, there is a lot of disappointment here but I’m not, God hasn’t rejected me. These kids are making big decisions about who they want to be and how they will interact with the world. Hoping these conversations lead to a strong, but not brittle faith – one strong enough to accept what the Bible teaches, but flexible enough to admit where Scripture has not spoken (heading off legalism before it can start). (see Matthew 7:24-27). Bunch of spoiled, punk ass kids too privileged for God. It wrecks my soul and often sends my heart into deep sorrow. You did a good job. I've stumbled on the anti-oxidant fisetin which seems to kill senescent cells (Cells that are dead and cause harm to other cells) and googled what it does for hair loss. With what’s in this article, I understood their reasons, This article is just evident of the issues that plague evangelical Christianity. All of this “coming out” as former Christians seems rather safe on this side of their success. Is he our tool or are we his? In fact, many of the so-called new atheist reject God and hold to logical inconsistencies because of the reality pain and suffering in the world. You’re assigning malice where they’ve expressed gratitude even in their changed perspectives. Whether voluntary or not, this type of response to people deconstructing their faith perpetuates the idea that there is no room for anything short of absolutism within the American Christian Church. I knew Jessie(Rhett’s) wife personally and have been mourning this horrible news, too. But circumstances in the summer of ‘93 landed me at Cru’s national staff conference too late to take “Intro to Christian Theology” with the rest of the new staff. Or maybe — bear with me here — they read all the same arguments for Christianity as you and just came to a different conclusion? I’ve considered myself a “hopeful agnostic” before ever finding out about GMM. I get how this isn’t a popular idea in Christian circle-jerk blogs like this, but admitting to yourself and others that you don’t, or more realistcally can’t know something is a much greater sign of wisdom than blindly following a doctrine based on a book that an overwhelming majority of Christians have never actually read, but simply been told about by a man whose job it is to keep them believing so the institution can make more money. They already went through the heartbreak and pain of that before for years! Why do you think it’s okay to lie about this? I pray they will encounter Jesus Christ in all of His love, grace and mercy in a real and powerful way. Greetings Olivia. Mt 8:26 Jesus rebukes his disciples for having little faith. “Whose glory rests at the heart of your work?” Your piece is very clearly written by someone who just _has_ to find a way that R&L weren’t _real_ Christians. “I’ve done a lot of thinking and praying about how (if at all) I should respond to their podcasts” -Shelly. ), Fall Retreat five times and Christmas Conference seven times. I don’t know Rhett and Link at all… Just have watched GMM for years. Is it possible that some, probably not these two, younger people, especially, might “say” they are leaving Christianity so they are not help accountable (church discipline, etc.) Rhett and Link are just sharing their story that a lot more people relate to than you think. This post makes me think that instead of listening to questions from students, and saying “I am patiently here to discuss and listen. Shelly, your blurb on Rhett telling link to “get out of the car” is misleading. You are right on the money in a lot of this article, but when you dismiss Rhett’s family and church as legalistic, cultural Christians, you are way off the mark. These questions are healthy. I really cannot imagine what you were thinking. Sensing His wisdom and transformative work in your heart that is not originating in the mind and the intellect, but is originating in your spirit, even as the mind struggles to articulate and walk out what your spirit has received from His Spirit. If you did that, you wouldn’t have written this article that completely misrepresents what the guys stated in their podcasts. Most of these people obviously can’t. They may be in an echo chamber (everyone is), but them questioning the first echo chamber they were in, the one you’re in now, should tell you that they’re capable of questioning the authority of other people’s opinions and drawing their own conclusions. I will also be open in the fact that I I don’t think you want to understand their process at all because of your bias. Consequently, it’s easy to turn our backs on it and “just hope” things fall into place. But! That was curious to me. On the surface, this makes them look smart because it gives the illusion that they can see all the angles, but in reality, this is a glaringly huge lack of teachability. It can reduce 30% of blood glucose of the body that might create problem. They don’t know how responsible they are for leading so many astray. The article was a very good idea. The stories they choose to tell about their growing up are part of their brand. Pride has gotten to them. I think that assessment is unfair to their stories. We don’t do the conversion. Can you imagine how painful and scary that must have been? what the original piece and subsequent comments are primarily about. I wonder why that geographical area? They try to re-do the wheel ending in Spanish. We all have friends and/or know people who’ve walked away. Because this article is being shared on the TGC website, his father may very well read this article. Now that I know what happened it isn’t surprising to me , (staff members have exited their employ, the newly sensed creeping adult sexual undertones flowing in and out of script). Jesus is the final definitive statement, and I’m praying my old friends will see that again one day. This is so very sad to me and I have been praying for them. As far as it being safe to talk about now, I think much of church “culture” pushes people away who question “too much” or about the “wrong things”. The subculture also had lied to me about what a believer is. Rhett apparently expects Christian faith to rest on an intellectual foundation. My prayer for all of us is that when each of us do wake up in eternity, it won’t be a Good Mythical Morning, but instead an “Awesome Eternal Reality”. So … God himself disciplines those he loves (Heb 12) and if they are wise they will not despise correction but learn from it. I wish you had both actually listened to the podcast (and I mean really heard it) and that you truly saw Rhett and Link as friends. I went to Link’s Nana’s funeral last Wednesday. It is very sad for them. Thank you so much, David, for taking the time to write such a kind and thoughtful response. Haven’t you ever imagined that maybe you could love your god and also accept that you like all others on this planet have never faced death, and don’t know what’s waiting for them on the other side? No, there’s no airtight argument for Christianity, but there’s certainly an airtight person. I prayed in frustration & fear over the impact this will have on their vast audience, and felt God reminding me that this is why it’s so important for me to speak truth about Him and share my story to those He’s given me influence with. Fame and money are extremely good insulation…which is why every Oscars speech is riddled with polarizing political snobbery. I guess I just know how much Jesus has legit changed my life and it makes me sad to think they either never fully knew and experienced that or walked away from it. Apparently, the fellas are now developing a reality show–and we all know how “real” those are–about life in the Creek. My heart has hurt deeply over the years watching what I perceived as a slow “selling-out.” Continuing to pray for these men that have become beloved by so many of us. This cannot be done with physics or math, but it can with people, and often unconsciously. Really appreciate the insight. And yet, if I were to confess that to my own parents, they wouldn’t believe me. But I do have love and prayers for Rhett and Link. Maybe one day the city will loose its shine in his eyes and come home. We didn’t know them up close, but they were part of my wife’s co-hort when she joined Cru at the El Caribe in 2003. Some are even addressed to Jesus’ own disciples. Will you please explain why you believe Christianity is objective Truth? Thus, if there is no God, our feelings and assessments (someone being blatantly rude or having our emotions impact our assessment of truth) are all relative. Paul also gave some pretty scathing rebukes to believers in his letters. ), “I’m not an expert, I just read some experts on these things. It’s their story, let them tell it! I related to Rhett as he stated that it was all he had ever known; once you study other beliefs, cultures, and philosophies it helps shape your world-view even more. I was so proud of them for being a positive influence on culture and pointing to Jesus. “California starts a lot that is wrong in this country” I still struggle with the mindset that faith is found in our certainty. And why do they do this? It’s incredibly sad and unfortunately there are many whom I called friend in Cru in those days who no longer walk with the Jesus of the Bible but rather have rejected him completely or have remade him to fit a more modern and liberal perspective. This makes it clear to me that fear more than intellect got in their way of having a relationship with God. We made this whole thing up, but he doesn't know that we went to great links to convince him that this was real. First off, I just want to say how proud and thankful I am that Rhett and Link would share their journey towards agnosticism with my 18 – 28 year old audience that watches them. And yeah, it was just a picture of forgiveness, and I think it was really powerful. Rhett and Link are very charitable, kind, and loving people according to nearly all who have met them, and what is more Christian than that? And then pray that in their “hopeful agnostic” journey they would encounter Jesus surprisingly & brilliantly, and find themselves back in a more grounded truth & hope. It was a very very bad idea. You know what I see in Rhett and Link’s story? The writer of this article and many of the commenters obviously can’t. Seems you missed the whole story. I am truly sorry to hear Link never connected with God in life the way he wanted. Wow. “There was so much time spent closing the door on future push-back that it made it nearly impossible for anyone to engage in the conversation in a way that didn’t line up with their perspective.” I agree with this, but isn’t this kind of what you’re doing as well? Love to all. Shelby, Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. This attitude literally makes people doubt the intentions of loved ones who are 100% sincere in trying to stay Christian but just can’t believe it’s true any more. Moonix _ says: November 23, 2019 at 4:34 pm smell ah I smell cap. It has just made my faith stronger. We love, because He first loved us. The way both of them spoke about “having a faith in the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ” carried the sarcastic undertone of a belief they’re clearly now embarrassed by…and it’s easy to be embarrassed when there’s not much on the line on this side of success. This article is an excellent example of why so many people are leaving the church. Your words, Shelby, are both affirming and loving. Human connection, the natural world, creativity, and imagination will go on without organized dogma to facilitate it. I know you know this Shelby. This is an excellent article and one that I whole heartedly agree with. God have mercy. I think this article is unfair to their stories. He follows this with the fact that he has gone nowhere. My heart has also been breaking. I am still heartbroken after listening to the podcasts, I think the idea that these two were believers, like me, is what drew me to them, and over the years of watching I’ve seen a progression of entertainment over anything else. Red Flags in the Spiritual Deconstruction of My Old Friends Rhett and Link: UPDATED, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvKtqbPMEnA, Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 240 - Glen Davis. Let’s be honest: Rhett and Link’s spiritual deconstruction isn’t a fact-finding mission; it’s just plain old-fashioned rebellion. I apologize for getting upset and calling the author “blatantly rude”, but I am not going to shy away from the emotions I feel reading this article. Call you a liar and money hungry? The two of them have heard and read it all they are not going to sway in their belief just as any “good” Christian would. podcast hosts), for others how many followers they have on social media, for yet others their homes, cars, bank accounts, etc. It’s a battle out here on the internet! Apologetics is wonderful, provides the evidence of the facts and has its place for sure. I am praying that He will!!! It is also known as insulin glargine injection. He said, you can go. Entirely his choice as it’s his story and experience. During the time they were refusing to talk about their faith they were struggling with it, they did not want to open up like any person who’s struggling with the unknown. (And ultimately reward them with nothing). May I ask what I said that makes you say I do not follow Jesus? Truly sad that modern christianity is as limp as a noodle. 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