Snarky Faith Radio

Stuart Delony

Snarky Faith is a space where we irreverently wrestle through life, culture and spirituality. It’s a skewering of religion in culture today. The questions or even answers are never the point – it’s all about the conversation. Hosted by Stuart Delony. Snarky Faith is on WCOM LP 103.5 Chapel Hill/Carrboro, NC Tuesdays 5-6pm EST www.snarkyfaith.com read less

Theology of Consent
Nov 1 2022
Theology of Consent
"We could be the people who risk with God in the face of apocalypse rather than the people who trust in a god who authors apocalypse." Jonathan J. Foster ~  Theology of Consent:  Mimetic Theory in an Open and Relational Universe   Coincidences happen and paradoxes occur.  In life, there are rare occurrences where cosmically divergent concepts combine, almost as if naturally intended - like peanut butter and jelly. In his new book, Theology of Consent: Mimetic Theory in an Open and Relational Universe, Jonathan J. Foster finds such a paring by blending René Girard’s scapegoating theory with Tomas J. Oord's Open and Relational Theology.  The book is a fantastic read that blends anthropology, psychology, theology, and the nature of love. Foster uses Girardian thinking to enhance his understanding of open and relational theology even as he allows open and relational ideas to challenge mimetic theory’s tendency to be regressive. The book is scholarly - yet accessible - grounded in humor and humility.  Join me as I sit down with Jonathan to talk through the theopoetic story of love and its fundamental characteristic: consent. Like the book, our talk together is educational, insightful, and playful. It's a great conversation that you don't want to miss.  We'll talk about all that and plenty more snark! Links Find Jonathan here:  https://www.jonathanfosteronline.com/ Buy the book here:  https://www.amazon.com/Theology-Consent-Mimetic-Relational-Universe/dp/1737664941 Show notes Episode Timestamp: Witches: 1:45 Christian Crazy 5:00 Interview 10:30 Featured Crackpots, Grifters, and Prophets: Guillermo Maldonado Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist   Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
Christian Nationalism
Sep 16 2022
Christian Nationalism
"I’m a Christian, and I say it proudly, we should be Christian nationalists." Marjorie Taylor Green ~ Politician and Conspiracy Theorist    You may have heard about Christian nationalism...  It's the hip (not) new trend all your Bible-beating relatives, and red-hat-wearing neighbors are talking about. Christian nationalism is a casserole of the worst parts of both the 4th of July and Christmas paired scrumptiously with a fine assortment of hatred, guns, and an unquenchable thirst for power.  That's bigotry delicious - just like your grandma used to make. Yum!  Join me today as we embark on a dive into different facets and mouthpieces of Christian nationalism. It is a movement that seeks to reform culture and control government; theocracy-style. None of this has anything to do with Jesus, but that has never stopped Christians before.    Christian nationalism is a frightening and violent distortion of the faith. It twists the teachings of Jesus and scripture into tools of acrimony wielded against others under the guise of supposed righteousness. This toxic ideology is on the rise in religious circles. What was once a term of scorn has now become a badge of honor.  This ideology and movement is a growing problem that gleefully plants the seeds of fascism and theocracy in America and beyond.  We'll talk about all that and plenty more snark!   Show notes Episode Timestamp: Summer Recap 2:00 Christian Cringe: 10:00 Christian Nationalism: 13:50 Another Way: 44:00 Articles Referenced or Useful for Further Reading: https://sas.rutgers.edu/news-a-events/news/newsroom/faculty/3406-religious-nationalism https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/february-web-only/what-is-christian-nationalism.html https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2022/08/christian-nationalist-identity-marjorie-taylor-greene.html https://www.huffpost.com/entry/marjorie-taylor-greene-christian-nationalism-republican-party_n_62dd70bde4b081f3a9007344 https://time.com/6201483/christian-nationalism-threat-democracy/ https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/christian-right-fbi-raid-trump https://politicalresearch.org/2005/12/05/the-rise-of-dominionismremaking-america-as-a-christian-nation https://www.thedailybeast.com/reverend-nathan-empsall-says-rejecting-christian-nationalism-is-what-jesus-would-do https://religionnews.com/2022/08/19/when-will-their-churches-condemn-the-christian-nationalism-rhetoric-of-maga-politicians/ https://theoutline.com/post/8856/seven-mountain-mandate-trump-paula-white https://youtu.be/qQbGnJd9poc Featured Crackpots, Grifters, and Prophets:  Shane Vaughn, Marjorie Taylor Green, Kent Christmas, Dutch Sheets, and Lance Wallnau.  Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
The Church Can Go To Hell with Desimber Rose Wattleton
Aug 11 2022
The Church Can Go To Hell with Desimber Rose Wattleton
"If we aren’t careful, we can become so bitter about the journey that we aren’t able to see how much we’ve grown along the way." Desimber Rose Wattleton ~ The Church Can Go to Hell   Rarely do we hear honest and raw confessions and testimony from pastors and clergy. Usually, the Lords of the Pulpit carefully craft a public, pious persona and live it out - cosplay style. The rules of this game do not include being honest and authentic. Those are not part of the playbook.  With many pastors, the game is solely about projecting the ideal example of a fully formed Christian. Breaking character is very rare for these preformers. Thankfully, Desimber Rose Wattleton is not one of those pastors. She's a truth teller who pulls no punches. Her new book, The Church Can Go To Hell: Overcoming the Brokenness, Bitterness, and Bondage of Church Hurt, is an authentic journey detailing her transition from suffering to purpose. Join me today as I discuss poisonous church culture with Desimber Rose. This enduring toxicity has alienated and wounded so many who are really seeking God but finding nothing in the Church. Desimber Rose's book is startlingly frank, and so is our interview.   Today, we talk about her experiences and how scripture can give us a manual for overcoming the spiritual scars caused by church trauma.  In order to really deliver and heal the Body of Christ from the brokenness, bitterness, and bondage of toxicity, it is necessary to reveal the ugly underbelly of the institution frequently hides behind titles, rituals, and tradition. Enjoy!   We'll talk about all that and plenty more snark! Buy Desimber Rose's new book, The Church Can Go to Hell on Amazon here!    Follow Desimber Rose on Instagram or Facebook. Show notes   Episode Timestamp: Christian Crazy: 03:00 Desimber Rose Interview: 10:00 Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
Honeysuckle with Meagan Ruby Wagner
Jul 22 2022
Honeysuckle with Meagan Ruby Wagner
"It should come as no surprise when So-called Christian powerhouses fall Corporate greed dressed in Sunday best od has always been in the business Of toppling empires"   Meagan Ruby Wagner ~ Jericho   Presently, language is purposefully abused and exploited, often for evil ends, to benefit those in positions of power. How can we combat this? There are many ways to push back. Yet, one of those is frequently brushed aside as being unimportant in culture and society. Today, we will talk about poetry as a tool of protest and expression. Poetry can evoke powerful images that inspire. It also breaks our hearts, cuts us to the core, and longs for better days. Much like political rhetoric and speech, poetry is seldom delivered carelessly. It is poignant and often timeless.  Joining us today is a poet and counselor Meagan Ruby Wagner. We'll discuss her debut poetry anthology, Honeysuckle.  The book is a fantastic read that touches on topics like parenting, changing faith, and mental health during turbulent times. Meagan can take ordinary circumstances and pinpoint the sensations we have all experienced intimately. She does this in an understated yet exquisite way.  In a time where prattle and rhetoric surround us like white noise, poetry may be the spark or the salve we all need the most.  Enjoy! We'll talk about all that and plenty more snark!     Buy Meagan's new book, Honeysuckle, on Amazon here!  Follow Meagan on Instagram or Facebook.   Show notes   Episode Timestamp: Christian Crazy: 02:05 Power of Poetry: 13:55 Meagan Ruby Wagner Interview: 18:20 Christian Cringe: 56:30   Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist   Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
Sola Mysterium with Keith Giles
Jul 15 2022
Sola Mysterium with Keith Giles
"Will we ever arrive at our destination? Who can say? But, God is not far away. God is alive within; living and breathing along with us in every moment. How do we know this? We can stop, be still, listen, and experience God’s presence anytime we need to. We can trust, by faith, that God will never leave us or forsake us. We can believe that Jesus is in the Father, and the Father is in us, and we are in Christ."   Keith Giles ~ Sola Mysterium   If life is a mystery and if God is at the center of everything, then seeking to know God requires embracing mystery.  In his new book, Sola Mysterium: Celebrating the Beautiful Uncertainty of Everything, Keith Giles takes a dive and invites us into the unknown. He asserts that there is more to God than any of us will ever fully comprehend in this life. The book knits together the elements of science, scripture, quantium physics, and psychology to push us towards a journey of sacred unlearning. It is in these spaces we encounter the divine. Join us today for a lively, enlightening, and far-reaching discussion with Keith Giles. He is a fantastic author and his work demands to be heard, and having him on the show is always enlightening. So, let us begin by embracing Christ's mystery in order to uncover the eternally expanding beauty of uncertainty. We'll talk about all that and plenty more snark!     Buy Keith's new book, Sola Mysterium on Amazon here!  You can find all of Keith's books on Amazon. Here's Keith's blog on Patheos, and you can always find him on the Heretic Happy Hour podcast.    Show notes Episode Timestamp: Christian Crazy: 02:14 Keith Giles Interview: 10:00 Christian Cringe: 56:30 Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
Learning from Experience
Jul 8 2022
Learning from Experience
"When you say to yourself. 'I don't care what happens,'  it just gives you a broader perspective." - George Carlin    There are times when we must wrestle with baggage from the road traveled as we progress in our faith. Questions begin to arise, and easy spiritual answers no longer soothe as a salve to the itching reality of balancing the trauma of living with the vastness of the divine.  Either we give in to the itch, or we learn to ignore it. One path results in transformation, whereas the other leads to resignation. Choosing to move into the uncharted requires embracing and exploring new realities, whether they exist within ourselves or in the larger world. For some, this invitation is a welcome opportunity, while for others, leaving their perceived realms of safety is terrifying. Neither position is more virtuous than the other. Moving forward is all that matters in the end. However, it would be a mistake to set out on your journey too quickly. Before setting out, one must be prepared to wrestle with what they have gained, learned, and lost in the past. This act calls for us to reflect on our experiences, times when we have failed, and the lessons we have learned. It teaches us what matters and ultimately informs us what we should and shouldn't care about. Experience-based learning is a sacred, yet forgotten, spiritual practice. Pastors and prophets of today see mystery as a barrier to preaching certainty. It challenges their authority and ability control others. Their brand of spiritual certainty is full of mental gymnastics and theologically tinged gobbledygook. The end result is meaningless spiritual platitudes that may sound nice but never amount to anything. Jesus encourages us to travel both inwardly and outwardly with clear eyes. This path demands that we evaluate our experiences as if they were divine instruments for instruction, understanding, and development. Experience-based learning is infused with the divine and empowers us to advance as audacious lovers, fearless truth-tellers, and compassionate envoys of God's shalom. The future is waiting patiently for those who are willing to go where others fear to tread. Also, don't worry, t here won't ever be any traffic jams on the road ahead.  Join us today as we wrap up our series on spiritual growth through the lens of Christ. May you travel well.  Always remember that you are never truly alone and that taking a risk is an act of bravery.  Journey well, friends.  We'll talk about all that and plenty more snark! Show notes Episode Timestamp: In The News/Gun Violence: 02:15 Main Conversation: 25:20 Bonus Crazy: 56:30 Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist   Books Referenced: Spiritual Theology - Diogenes Allen Gifts of the Dark Wood - Eric Elnes   Articles:  Shootings expose divisions on gun issue in faith communities For many evangelical Christians, God and guns are inextricably linked Guns do more than kill What are Evangelicals and how did they become so hypocritical? Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
Out Into The Desert
May 26 2022
Out Into The Desert
"People are finding acceptance, love, and healing outside of the organizational church. They feel like they were supporting the organization of the church and the church was not supporting them."  Karl Forehand ~ Out Into The Desert   Karl J. Forehand was a bi-vocational pastor for 20 years and has training in spiritual leadership coaching, plant-based nutrition, and spiritual direction. He’s the author of The Tea Shop, The Hotel, Apparent Faith and Being.  Soon, Karl is releasing his new book, Out into the Desert, which he co-wrote with his wife.  Karl has long had a penchant for bringing light to the forgotten postures of faith. This time, he's joined by Laura, his wife, and their voices together speak truth to different sides of the same coin, from surviving church ministry to wandering and embracing the vulnerable ways of Christ. This book spoke deeply to my soul, as it will yours. Join me, as I talk with Karl about his book, enduring ministry trauma, and finding another path towards being. It's an insightful conversation that you'll enjoy.   We'll talk about all that and more snark! Find Karl's books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Karl-Forehand/e/B07VGKNC23 For more on Karl: https://karlforehand.com/ Leaning Forward Conference: https://karlforehand.com/leaning-forward-2022 Show notes Episode Timestamp: Christian Crazy: 02:03 Conversation with Karl Forehand: 34:30  Bonus: 56:30 Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
Road Trip
May 19 2022
Road Trip
"Based on this historical example, if our passion is to end abortion in our nation, the best way to do so is to circumvent political processes (which, to date, have not proven very effective), and to love our neighbor as Jesus commanded." Keith Giles ~ Jesus Untangled  Today's show is a mixed bag of talk about reproductive rights, and I'll also take you on a road trip discussion of our continuing series on spiritual formation.  Note: I apologize in advance for the poor sound quality of the road trip portion of the recording.  The right for a woman to choose medical decisions about her own body is a political lightning rod issue in both American politics and religion.  On the surface, this issue is presented as if it's binary. You are either pro-life or pro-choice. Both sides have their narratives and talking points. Yet in the discourse, everyone seems to be vehemently yelling past one another. At the end of the day, it seems all we're left with is the yelling, and that's never helpful.   We see pro-life Christians using the Bible as justification for their stance, but proof-texting scripture is never very fruitful in seeing the heart of God.  The logical way to engage the Bible on a topic like this would be to see how God views personal choice. In the Bible, humanity is depicted as a complex, multi-faceted creature with the ability and responsibility to make decisions and choices. The concept of free will is kind of a big deal in the Bible.  So join us today as we discuss the changing views about abortion and how those views have changed in the minds of Christian over decades. We'll also dig into the political influences behind the Religious Right and how it has used this issue for years to shape politics and fuel the flames of culture wars.  What does any of this have to do with Jesus? How are we missing the point in this issue? How do we move forward?  Tune in and find out.  We'll talk about all that and plenty more snark!  Show notes   Episode Timestamp: In The News/Roe v Wade: 03:40 Main Conversation: 40:00 Bonus Crazy: 56:30   Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist   Books Referenced: Spiritual Theology - Diogenes Allen Gifts of the Dark Wood - Eric Elnes   Articles:  The Real Origins of the Christian Right As a Christian, I Want to Reduce Abortions, Not Overturn Roe Why Post Roe Abortion Bans Must Exempt Religious Jews Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
Leaving Well
Apr 29 2022
Leaving Well
To go somewhere, you have to leave.  There will be times in our journeys in faith when we're called to leave, either by choice or circumstance. Sometimes we pull away for a moment; other times, maybe forever. The keys to navigating these times are discernment, detachment, and humility. We encounter moments where leaving is healthy and gives us perspective. Other times, we just need to get the hell out of bad or toxic situations.  Regardless of the reason, what we learn in these times of separation can be formative if we lean into the process with open eyes and humble hearts.  Engaging in change can be difficult, but we must remember that we don't fear change - we fear loss. That fear can keep us in places where we won't progress or grow. It can leave us in places we're not supposed to be.  In Irish folklore, there was a mythical race called the Tuatha De Danann. They were peaceful people who loved beauty and art. When confronted and driven to war by a hostile tribe, it is said that they just "turned sideways into the light and disappeared."  They knew that war would make them into something they were not and didn't dare to engage.  Sometimes, leaving is a decision to prevent yourself from becoming something you don't want to become. So, remember that healthy detachment can help you see more clearly.  I believe that the future will be written by those that choose to leave and create something better. Those who dare to tread on uncharted grounds are also those that discover what is new and next. Faith was never meant to be a stagnant or complacent process. To learn and grow, we must step into new territory with a brave face and a humble posture.  Let us cast away the inert stability of past institutions and mindsets while we look to better and more hopeful days forward. It is not easy to cast off our baggage, but it is a lighter load for the road ahead.  Travel well. We'll talk about all that and more snark!  Show notes Episode Timestamp: COVID: 02:05 Christian Crazy: 06:25 Main Conversation: 25:35 Bonus: 56:30 Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist Books Referenced: Spiritual Theology - Diogenes Allen Gifts of the Dark Wood - Eric Elnes Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
The Art of Being Lost
Apr 15 2022
The Art of Being Lost
"As you start to walk on the way, the way appears." ~ Rumi    No one likes to be lost.  It strikes us with fear and disorientation because we like to be in control. When we're lost, things feel out of control. Yet being lost is part of the spiritual journey.  In many ways, it is an essential ingredient for change and growth. As humans, we're creatures of habit and depend on certain things for stability as we make our way in the world every day. Remove some of the familiar, and we experience loss.  It happens as a result of our own choices, those of others, or through circumstances outside of our control. It may be painful, but it is inevitable.  I've known some people so scared to make a decision they would avoid it at all costs. They feared change. Though it should be noted, that not making a decision is actually a decision. It's a choice to remain foolish in the hope that life will go back to the way it used to be. It's a nostalgic fantasy that leads to delusion. Embracing reality and ourselves is key to spiritual growth. My journey towards knowing God more has led me to know myself more. I've learned to heal, turn baggage into wisdom, and reclaim awe and wonder in my life. It's also been painful, stretching, and even ugly at times. This process is ongoing. I'm constantly growing and learning more about myself and the divine. Yet, all of that would be impossible unless I'm willing to be lost.  Moving away from certainty can be terrifying and make us long for the shallower waters of the familiar. So we must remember that life moves forward at a brisk pace. The world changes constantly, and so do you.  You and your faith were never meant to be stagnant. There's more out there to be experienced and more life to live. Don't worry. You won't be alone. There are plenty of us out there. Let's get lost together.  We'll talk about all that and more snark!    Show notes Episode Timestamp: Hedge of Protection: 01:43 In the News: 02:20 UFOs and Jesus: 13:00 Main Conversation: 18:30 Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist Books Referenced: Spiritual Theology - Diogenes Allen Gifts of the Dark Wood - Eric Elnes Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
Nitty Gritty Faith
Apr 8 2022
Nitty Gritty Faith
"We must realize that leaps of faith are the junk food of the spiritual realm... An authentic leap of faith may become the first step of a new beginning, but taking that step feels more like the culmination of a long and engaging journey."   Eric Elnes ~ Gifts of the Dark Wood   Continuing on our series about the tangible ways of faith, today we'll discuss different motivations for seeking after God. Thus far, we'd discussed conversion and moments of experiencing the divine.  Too often, we assume that the journey of faith is all about mystical and mysterious happenings and experiences. While, in some regard, these do instances may occur, they are not the norm. Yet, we usually use these supernatural events as a gauge for spirituality and depth.  Religion has groomed us to believe that one of the key ingredients for experiencing God is a leap of faith or some grand gesture. This ideology of risk is often a recipe for abuse, pain, and trauma. I'm not trying to negate the impact of a spiritual experience, per se, but we must realize that these are often only the beginning point of a journey. These moments are not the goal or a place to camp and make a home.  When we seek God, we must ask ourselves, "what or why are we seeking Her?"  Many seek God for purpose, significance, or affirmation. Others may seek Her out of selfish ambition or pride. Either way, it's missing the point, but humans often excel at that virtue. The road toward experiencing the divine should lead us to a greater understanding of ourselves. This requires introspection, healing, and dealing with our biases and baggage as we begin to embrace seeing the world through the lens of Jesus.  This journey also grants us something unexpected. As Peter Rollins puts it, "For while we do not grasp God, faith is born amidst the feeling that God grasps us." Understanding and embracing this fact will lead to deeper personal transformation. It also arms us with a robust amount of humility and grace. These are the necessary tools for the road ahead. Without them, we'll never understand the Kingdom of God.    We'll talk about all that and more snark!    This week's Christian Crazy also features Greg Lock, Shane Vaughn, and Kat Kerr! Show notes   Episode Timestamp: Snarky start: 01:43 In the News: 06:00 Christian Crazy: 23:40 Main Conversation: 30:00 Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist Books Referenced: Spiritual Theology - Diogenes Allen Gifts of the Dark Wood - Eric Elnes Articles: https://julieroys.com/macarthur-shamed-excommunicated-mother-take-back-child-abuser/ https://www.patheos.com/blogs/allsetfree/2022/04/some-reflections-on-hillsong-mars-hill-and-church-culture/ https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/03/russia-ukraine-invasion-military-predictions/629418/ Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
Touching the Stove
Apr 1 2022
Touching the Stove
"I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglect to do it to me." -Jesus The pursuit of experiencing the divine is the age-old goal of religious and spiritual seekers. For those that believe or want to believe, such an encounter can be transformative and confirming to one's faith.  Yet, organized religion has manipulated this desire and used it to control the masses through fear, guilt, and shame masked as theology, dogma, and practice. They've taught us to ignore our humanity because they see it as flawed and sinful. Then, they tell us to deny our senses, past experiences, and logic if we want to experience the Almighty.   That way isn't a way towards a transcendent encounter. It only leads us into a circular path of submission and sameness. Seeking God doesn't require us to ignore our humanity or check our brains at the door. Though that's what is often taught and preached.  We are an amalgamation of our experiences in life, both good and bad. To ignore this is to neglect ourselves.  As children, we're told not to touch the stove but sometimes do it anyway. We learn from the pain. We grow from the encounter. These happenings and our responses to them make us into who we are. Events like these help frame our perspective and make us who we are. We need to learn to be and accept ourselves. If God is real and at work in the world around us, we need to realize that seeking the divine requires us to engage with reality and help others. It's not as sexy as a vision, miracle, or transcendent moment, but God lives in the spaces where the forgotten and marginalized dwell. So, if we want to experience God, these are the places we go. It's just that simple.  We'll talk about that along with the Hillsong scandal, Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill, and plenty more in this episode. This will be part one of a two-part discussion on experiencing the divine.  Show notes Episode Timestamp: News/Hillsong/Don't Say Gay: 03:00 Christian Crazy: 30:00 Main Conversation: 37:00 Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist   Books Referenced: Spiritual Theology - Diogenes Allen Gifts of the Dark Wood - Eric Elnes Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
Emptiness
Mar 24 2022
Emptiness
"The courage to be is rooted in the God who appears when God has disappeared in the anxiety of doubt."  -Paul Tillich   Religious conversion is a peculiar thing. The very mention of "getting saved" most likely triggers lots of ideas, experiences, feelings, and bad memes in your head.  The funny thing is that conversion is not intended to be a spiritual, rapturous, or transcendent experience. It's likewise not about praying a prayer or getting a magic get-out-of-hell-free card. That would be an exercise in missing the point. Conversion literally means turning around and embarking on a different path. Yup, that's it. Nothing more or less, yet we have mucked up the entire thing with marketing, spectacle, and scare tactics. Taking up that different path of Jesus is filled with fear, doubt, and ambiguity. Yet, with conversion, we sell assurance and certainty, which is an utter disservice to the spiritual process and growth. Sorry, but there are no cookie cutters for faith, and those that sell that message of assurance are only parrots, puppets, and posers. There is a deep mystery in following the ways of Jesus and seeking God in the world around us. There's no way around it.  Churches push that aside as they give us dependable crutches that tickle our spiritual longings with things such as preaching, worship, and dogma. It's almost as if they're trying to prove Karl Marx correct when he said, "religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." Jesus did want his followers to be cosplaying Christians. He promised a hard road ahead for his followers filled with sacrifice, trials, trouble, and emptiness.  While the ethics of Christ give us a firm lens to see the world, the praxis of those teachings is anything but certain. We embark into the world armed with ideals, knowing not how they will be contextualized and animated when faced with reality.  There is a gift to that emptiness borne out of not knowing. It forces us to be open and awake in every moment as we continue in our process of becoming. It keeps us searching, changing, and growing.  It's fear that keeps us in place. It's fear that keeps us in church. It's fear that keeps us from change.  Experiencing God is always about the journey to know the unknown, both inwardly and outwardly. It's meant to help us become more of ourselves as we cast off the baggage from the past while bravely learning to humbly love others without stipulation or qualification.  It's not easy, but it is the way of Jesus. There will be times of emptiness because your path every day is new and being charted by you. There's only one you and no specific guide to your life (sorry, Bible). Sounds scary, but there are others out there embracing new ways of love, growth, kindness, and justice as they seek God.  That process of becoming helps us to view ourselves, others, and God in new ways. So if we were honest about conversion into faith, we'd stop the marketing and lean into the mystery. This process creates a reliance upon God that is essential to the ways of Christ. Without it, we're just smug, pious assholes that dream of heaven as we ignore life in this present reality. Ambiguity and the vacancy of certitude force us to embrace life and others with an open hand and a sense of expectancy.  We'll talk about all that and lots more snark!  This week's Christian Crazy features Robin Bollocks, Hank Kunneman, Kent Christmas, and more! Show notes Episode Timestamp: Ukraine: 02:10 Christian Crazy: 14:40 Main Conversation: 30:30 Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist   Books Referenced: Spiritual Theology - Diogenes Allen Gifts of the Dark Wood - Eric Elnes   Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
My Gay Church Days
Mar 10 2022
My Gay Church Days
“How many of us are strangers to ourselves in order to please the church.”  ~ George Azar   On this week's show, we sit down with author and ex-pastor George Azar to discuss his new book, My Gay Church Days. The book is a profoundly raw, honest, and open memoir about his experiences within Christianity and ministry as a gay man. It's a journey of self-discovery from someone who's just like all of us - in search of love, acceptance, belonging, and community.  From an early age, George knew he was different, but he longed to fit in and feel at home in this world. Evangelical Christianity provided a space to belong and find fellowship, but that all came at a price.  Within religious circles, you're always welcome as long as you fit into a certain mold. It's a conditional community that speaks often of grace and love but actually requires conformity and control. It's in these places that the life-giving words of Jesus are drowned out by pious judgment, cultural fears, and systemic misogyny and bigotry.   George's memoir chronicles the struggles of processing and embracing a faith that taught him that his homosexual feelings were sinful and that being part of the LGBTQ+ community made him an abomination fit for the wrath of an angry God. Undoubtedly, teachings like this taught him (and others) to hate himself and hide who he was from everyone around him - even himself.  It's a powerful story of the ways religion can be soul-crushing and dangerous to those who don't fall in line, but it's also a hopeful tale of resilience, self-acceptance, and learning to love yourself.  We'll talk about all that and more snark. Buy George Azar's book, My Gay Church Days: Memoir of a closeted Evangelical pastor who eventually had enough, on Amazon. For more on George: www.mygaychurchdays.com Twitter/Instagram: @mygaychurchdays Note: A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project - The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
Uncertainty
Mar 2 2022
Uncertainty
"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12 Uncertainty is something that usually makes us feel uncomfortable. We like to be in control and have a hand in the outcome of things in life. It's a natural inclination, but it's also counter-productive when we seek to change and grow.   In regards to religion, certainty is typically a recipe for disaster. Or, as Eric Elnes puts it, "have you ever noticed how the more certainty a religion claims to deliver, the more frenzied and hysterical are its adherents?" When Christianity pushes to make the unknowable knowable, it diminishes the mystery of God and reduces the teachings of Jesus to sets of rules and dogma. Once this happens, faith becomes more about adherence than exploration and growth. Jesus' teachings change us from the inside out. They're not about being right or righteous, holy or pious. Christ's ways teach us to live fueled by kindness, grace, compassion, humility, and empathy. To embrace his ways leads us down a mysterious path that tosses certainty to the wayside. That journey changes us as we move out in love into a world filled with uncertainty.  Stick with religion, and you know what you'll get.  For me, I'd rather follow the ways of Jesus into the unknown. Want to join me?  We'll talk about all that, the Ukraine and lots more snark!  This week's Christian Crazy features Lance Wallnau, Franklin Graham, Curt Landry, and more! Show notes Episode Timestamp: Ukraine: 02:45 Christian Crazy: 15:00 Main Conversation: 26:35 Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist   Books Referenced: Spiritual Theology - Diogenes Allen Gifts of the Dark Wood - Eric Elnes   Articles: https://religionnews.com/2022/02/25/a-religious-politician-head-of-ukrainian-orthodox-church-of-the-usa-slams-patriarch-kirill-putin/ https://dianabutlerbass.substack.com/p/next-year-in-kyiv?
Abstract Faith
Feb 18 2022
Abstract Faith
"For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ, we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God."   2 Corinthians 2:15-17   I've been lately contemplating this idea of Christianity and the idea of embodying a "pleasing aroma." Nowadays, it seems like the modern-day church needs some Febreze, like, a lot of it.  Over the past few weeks on the show, we journeyed together through the Sermon on the Mount, learning the ethics of Jesus. In that similar vein, let's pivot towards the brass tacks of faith as we explore spiritual formation and practice. This seems to be the lost art of Christianity.  To recapture the pleasant aroma of Christ, we must look back to the basics of what it looks like to walk in the ways of the Kingdom of God.  When our faith has become about doctrine, dogma, theology, and philosophy, it's safe to say that you have an abstract faith not grounded in reality. It's more theory than practice.  Furthermore, that's not how Jesus discipled and taught his followers. Christ's way was grounded in the here and now yet pointed toward a hopeful future of potential.  The path towards that future involves us becoming who we are supposed to be. The journey of faith was never about stagnation. It's about being deeply rooted in your humanity and seeing where God is at work in the world around us, and joining Her there. The path of knowing ourselves is the same path that leads to knowing God, but you won't find it in organized religion. It's a journey into the wild.  Want to come with me?  There's no telling where the path will lead, and that's the beauty and mystery of it.  We'll talk about all that and more snarky!  This week's Christian Crazy features Hank Kunneman, Greg Lock (and his witches), Perry Stone, and Kat Kerr! Show notes Episode Timestamp: Housekeeping: 01:43 In the News: 05:00 Christian Crazy: 14:00 Main Conversation: 32:00 Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist Books Referenced: Spiritual Theology - Diogenes Allen Gifts of the Dark Wood - Eric Elnes Articles: https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/14/us/pastor-invalid-baptisms-resignationhttps://www.cnn.com/2022/02/15/opinions/tennessee-adoption-struggle-religious-freedom-graves-fitzsimmons-siddiqi/index.htmlhttps://www.lgbtqnation.com/2022/02/2500-christian-ministers-sign-letter-demanding-right-practice-conversion-therapy/ https://religionnews.com/2022/02/15/tennessee-preacher-greg-locke-says-demons-told-him-names-of-witches-in-his-church/ Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
Call Me A Leper
Feb 11 2022
Call Me A Leper
"It all has to do with love of others, which is the purest expression of our love of God. If Jesus has a theology, it is a "theology of humanism' - we love God through love of the humanity made in his image." -Addison Hodges Hart For the past few weeks on the show, we have been working our way through the Sermon on the Mount. It's the centerpiece of Jesus' teachings and lays the groundwork for the ethics that embody the kingdom of Heaven. At its core, this teaching is a call to self-examination in order to see if our personal ethics are congruent with God's kingdom. As we recap the Sermon this week, we'll also lay it next to modern-day Christendom to see how they are antithetical to one another.  The ways of Jesus change our posture in how we engage with the world. We are called to be driven by love, compassion, and grace. We are called to love those cast out by religion and those that exist in the shadows of empire.  With modern-day Christianity looking more and more like a country club, the historical Jesus sends us to the margins to live, love, and have community. In his time, Christ aligned himself with those that were cast out: the lepers, prostitutes, tax collectors, and sinners. Many of them made up his community.  Today, the church shames those in the shadows and margins. It's taught Christians to think being an asshole is also is akin to being holy. Christianity has lost the plot while running off on various culture-wars fueled by misogyny, racism, and bigotry. At its core, the faithful have become selfish, comfortable, and self-righteous. These are the very traits and aims that Christ calls out in the Sermon on the Mount.  I'd rather follow in the ways of Jesus and find myself in the company of the forgotten, the kicked-out, the shamed, the unloved, and the unwanted. It's here in these places that the seeds for the Kingdom of Heaven grow.  So call me a sinner. Call me a heretic. Call me a pagan. Call me a leper.  Those are the people that Jesus called friends.    We'll talk about all that and more snark! Show notes Episode Timestamp: Being You: 2:00 Christian Crazy: 10:00 Main Conversation 17:00 Bonus: 56:30 Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
Faithful Mindfulness
Feb 4 2022
Faithful Mindfulness
This week on the show, we'll pause our series on the Sermon on the Mount to do something a bit different. Yet, it's still very much in the same vein of the ethics of the Kingdom of God, where health and mindfulness matter. Mental health matters. It's an area that the church has long ignored or mishandled.  You can't pray away mental health issues; that's just bad theology. Self-work is necessary on the road towards health. For too long has therapy a negative stigma within Christianity.  Today, we're talking with Dr. Justin Meier, a pastor, and a trauma-informed board-certified therapist. He's also the host of the Daily Faithful Mindfulness podcast - a resource to help people use Christian mindfulness and meditation to overcome trauma and help people become everything God has created them to be. We'll discuss the importance of mindfulness in healing trauma and how it can open us to experiencing God and life in new ways. This conversation isn't happening enough in religious circles.  Join us today as we journey into new ways to live resiliently, as Christ called us to live.  We'll talk about all that and more snark!     You can find more about Dr. Justin Meier and his work here:  Listen to Daily Faithful Mindfulness Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/bt/podcast/faithful-mindfulness/id1592159857 The Journey Church: https://www.rethinkfaith.org/   Show notes Episode Timestamp: Christian Crazy: 2:50 Main Conversation/ Interview: 7:55     Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com
False Prophets
Jan 28 2022
False Prophets
In modern-day Christianity it seems that there's no shortage of self-proclaimed prophets. They make bold claims about the future. They'll insist that God measures your faithfulness by how much you give to their ministries. They preach of an angry God who seems to hate the same people they do.  It's all a crock of shit.  Don't believe me?  Jesus even said so.  He laid out simple and practical ways to judge the merit of a prophet. Are they false prophets and manipulative teachers? You bet.  For several weeks, we've been journeying through the Sermon on the Mount. It's the centerpiece of Christ's teachings and the ethics of the Kingdom of God. This week, we'll talk about false prophets and religious grifters.  Charlatans were as commonplace in the first century as they are today.  Today's false prophets and pastors seem to embody the humility, wisdom, and grace of a middle school bully as they lie, boast, and manipulate to get what they want. They are not servant leaders; they are narcissists and frauds peddling a false gospel that misleads and deceives.  Jesus doesn't mince words when he speaks of them, either. They have no role in God's work of reconciling and healing humanity.  The kingdom of God will never be about marketing and salesmanship. Nor was it meant to be a tool to build the celebrity and wealth of pastors.  The kingdom of God is unfolding here and now through acts of service, compassion, grace, and love.  If the core of Christ's message is about serving and loving others, anything else is the anthesis to the faith.  Join us today as we unpack the simple yet, practical way of Jesus. It looks nothing like modern-day Christendom, and that's a good thing.  We'll talk about all that and more snark!   Show notes Episode Timestamp: Critical Race Theory / CRT: 2:30 Main Conversation/Sermon on the Mount: 25:00     Big thanks to these outlets that make the Christian Crazy possible: Right Wing Watch Christian Nightmares Friendly Atheist     Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world. www.SnarkyFaith.com