Welcome to episode 13 of The UnSunday Show. I finally bought a book that I first saw in 2008. It’s called A Church Building Every 1/2 Mile by Jon Zens. It’s subtitled, What Makes American Christianity Tick? I think the title says it all. It’s an excellent book that I really enjoyed reading so I thought I would share it with you by way of interacting with short excerpts from it. This will be the first of several episodes interacting with this book. I’m looking forward to seeing where this takes us.
My first exposure to Jon Zens was in 1995 and I had the opportunity to meet him later that same century (I’ve been waiting for a chance to use that “century” phrase!). If you’re not familiar with his writings, I think you’ll find them informative and encouraging. You can find Jon Zens on-line at Searching Together. Here’s a link to the book:
Welcome to episode 12 of the UnSunday Show! I caught two of my friends at a weak moment and they both agreed to come on the show and talk with me about their individual journeys out of the institutional church. My conversation with Rocky Glenn and Jim Gordon centered around their reasons for leaving that religious environment, their experiences along the way, and what community looks like now, apart from religious influence and obligation.
Jim and Rocky’s stories are indicative of millions who’ve left the institutional church environment in favor of a more authentic experience apart from it, me included. We haven’t left the faith or the body of Christ. One cannot leave the body of Christ without walking away from Jesus. The two are mutually inclusive. Like so many others, we’ve simply discovered a more genuine expression of the body of Christ apart from religious obligation and conformity to institutional rules, expectations, and traditions.
Welcome to episode 11 of The UnSunday Show. Let’s talk about community and accountability. Most of us think community and accountability are two sides of the same coin, or that one (accountability) is necessary for the other (community) to function. Community is the agreed upon goal and we think accountability is the bus that will take us there. But it’s not. That bus is traveling in the opposite direction.
Accountability encourages people to pretend. Community invites us into the Father’s affection where we can feel safe and accepted, fully known and fully loved without any pretense. In an accountability structure, we learn to hide the stuff that’s the real us or that we think will disappoint others and God. We learn how to fake it and which masks to wear to fake people out in every circumstance. In accountability structures, we are focused on getting people to do what they don’t really want to do by way of manipulation and behavior management with corresponding rewards and punishments.
Welcome to episode 10 of The UnSunday Show. We’ve reached double-digits! In this episode I talk about two phrases in scripture that religion has successfully convinced us are spiritual disciplines: dying daily and bearing our cross. Religion has turned these into closely related spiritual disciplines where I need to be killing myself off every day and learning to hold up under the weight of life’s circumstances, or bearing my cross.
But is that what these phrases mean? Are bearing my cross and dying daily spiritual disciplines indicative of spiritual maturity? Let’s talk about it.
Welcome to episode 9 of The UnSunday Show. Let’s talk about 1 John 1:9 and the confession of sins. This passage says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The question I address in this episode is does John mean believers should be repeatedly confessing sins in order to experience forgiveness up to that point in time? If so, how do we reconcile 1 John 1:9 with other New Testament passages that teach the once-for-all forgiveness of sins secured on the cross? Let’s talk about it.
Welcome to episode 8 of The UnSunday Show. My wife joins me in this episode from our old Ekklesia Podcast as we talk about our journey out of the institutional church and the events and circumstances surrounding it. We both hit a wall of performance about 10 years ago as a pastor and pastor’s wife within the institutional church environment that resulted in a crash and burn for each of us from performance-based Christianity. We tried to stay within other modern church settings for a few years but became increasingly uncomfortable in that setting as time went on and our eyes were opened wider to a different reality, increasing our inability to stay there. We finally left that environment about 4 years ago and have discovered a more genuine and authentic experience outside those walls.
If you find yourself on a similar journey of leaving the modern church setting, we hope you find encouragement in this episode.