This post is in response to a few comments made on some previous posts. Comments like I am a church-basher, a cynic, overwhelmingly negative, and a deconstructionist. I am very, very grateful for the variety of comments being made, and I invite more. In fact, I am going to launch a contest soon in which all those who comment on one of my posts will be entered into a draw to win one of my original paintings! Stay tuned. Here s an apology in my defense: I decided long ago that the problem with the church isn t finding a way forward, or alternatives or revisions or renovations. In my opinion, the church doesn t need a destination, a goal, or a way forward, any more than a family does! I decided that my ministry is about the removal of all these obstacles. Jesus was highly critical of those who kept heaping more and more expectations, laws, requirements, mores, and guilt upon people. He saw them as harmful burdens. He invited people to follow him because his burden was light. So, I am convinced that my ministry s mandate is to strip people of all burdens, and to pare the church down, seriously, to practically nothing. It looks like church-bashing and deconstruction because we tend to equate all the unnecessary extras with the church. Hey, if you want to read a man who was a severe critic of the church while being a committed part of it, read William Stringfellow's AN ETHIC FOR CHRISTIANS AND OTHER ALIENS IN A STRANGE LAND! I believe in the gift of absolute liberty of the human being, and the real fellowship we all share in Christ. That s the church. Simple as that! What d ya think?