In Episode 44, Steve is joined by friend of the show, the Rev. Ed Bacon. This episode is also packed full of your stories! Check this fun-filled episode out for Christmas carols with Ben and Cara, plus favorite Christmas memories from listeners. And don’t miss Ed Bacon’s thoughts on why Christmas still matters. This is a holiday celebration for the whole family!
In Episode 43 of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast, Steve is joined by Scott Watkins – an ex-pastor, and former co-host of the Holy Heretics Podcast. In this conversation, the guys talk about to talk about life after Christianity and what it means to be a secular humanist.
Most folks who listen to this podcast love to throw around the word “deconstruction”, but most of them still call themselves some kind of Christian. But what happens when you deconstruct your faith and what you’re left with is no longer appealing? Deeper than that – what happens when it no longer feels like Truth? What do you do when you deconstruct and no longer call yourself a Christian?
Highlights from today’s episode:
“If you love everybody, then you don’t love anybody.”
“When your religion becomes toxic, you need to run from it.”
“Religion is simply a meaning-making device.”
“Spirituality isn’t about answers, but meaning.”
“I’m not against Christianity, but I’m for humanity.”
“I don’t think Church is about following Jesus. I think it’s about the consolidation of power.”
“God is just a projection of the deepest part of our self; and quite frankly, so is the Devil.”
“We should absolutely say that people matter more than beliefs.”
When books make me silently weep, without fanfare, just cry those big fat releasing tears because my soul is saying yes – that’s a good book. That’s a really REALLY good book.
Questions about the gifts of grief:
You talk about Jesus in a very genuine and loving way – but your heart at times has nearly been crushed under the weight of grief. How do you reconcile the two? And what the heck do you mean when you say the gifts of grief?
Can we talk about the struggle with church hurts when all you really want to do is love Jesus and his people?
Who is Jesus?
Why is it so important to create a safe space for others to be vulnerable?
What’s it like to parent a child of a different race?
In Episode 41 of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast, Steve Austin talks with David P. Gushee, author of the brand-new book, Still Christian: Following Jesus Out of American Evangelicalism. Tony Campolo says, “Still Christian takes us on the journey of a Christian leader who endeavors to maintain his integrity while navigating his way from a rigid fundamentalism with its right-wing political agenda into a progressive worldview.” Listen now at AskSteveAustin.com or on your favorite podcasting app!
I’m too liberal for the Republicans and too conservative for the Democrats. I’m a 30-something Southerner, born and raised in the buckle of the Bible Belt. I was dunked by the Baptists, spoke in tongues in the Assemblies of God, went to a Church of God college, returned to my Baptist roots as a youth pastor, became a Methodist, and now agree with about 80 percent of the Catholic Church’s teachings. I attended George W. Bush’s first inauguration as a senior in high school but have voted Democrat in the last election. I study the King James Bible with a concordance but I read The Message on my iPhone for enjoyment, while having a glass of wine and smoking a cigar.
I’m a walking contradiction.
Maybe there was once room for people like me. Maybe everyone is like me, if we’re all honest with each other. But our culture no longer allows contradictions. I run from discussions with other Christians because it almost always ends poorly. A loss of friendship, a loss of faith, a loss of fervor. I’m tired of being burned.
When many people of faith force it to be an either/or battle of choosing sides, how do you find your voice without losing your soul? This is what today’s episode with David Gushee, author of Still Christian, is all about.
Some questions from today’s conversation:
What’s it like to become a born-again Christian in 1978, during the Presidency of Jimmy Carter and the formation of the Religious Right?
How has stepping away from American Evangelicalism impacted the way you pastor and parent?
What is life like for you, as a pastor or Christian leader, when church life in America seems to be on the decline?
Do you have any advice for folks like me, who are in the midst of a personal deconstruction of faith…on how to hold onto their faith, while not abandoning their intellect or ignoring the questions?
Is the Bible literally true?
How similar were the religious wars of the 1980’s to whatever we’re experiencing today with the marriage of President Trump and the Religious Right?
If we look at life through the lens of American Christianity, politics, and culture in 2017 – when do we compromise, and when we do we stand our ground?
Do you have any advice for Evangelical Christian pastors who feel stuck, Sunday after Sunday, with the obligation to support their family pressing right up against their secret affirmation of the LGBT community, or their support of women, or their disdain of the President?
You have been described as “every liberal’s favorite evangelical” and you have also been described as “every liberal’s least-favorite evangelical”. Which one would you rather be, and why?
You are an anti-torture, pro-environment, LGBTQ-affirming, academic…and yet you seem to still consider yourself a Baptist? If so, how and why?
After all that you’ve been through, how is this not just a book about a disillusioned ex-Christian?
Favorite quote? “I’m disillusioned. But I’m not an ex-Christian.”
In Episode 40 of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast, Steve Austin shares some encouragement from his own life for folks who feel hopeless. If you’re ready to give up, tired of running, or feel like you’re drowning, please listen to this very personal bonus episode.
This Holiday Bonus Edition of the #AskSteveAustin podcast features Steve Austin and Robert Vore, chatting about several snarky (but honest) self-care tips for the holidays.
Self-Care Tips for the Holidays
The holiday season is upon us. I can hardly stand the excitement of family get-togethers and out-of-town guests. No, really…I can hardly stand it. If you dread the holidays as much as me, today’s bonus episode includes a whole list of ways to guard yourself against the holiday chaos everyone somehow looks forward to every single year.
Robert Vore has worked for various ministries & non-profits in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and England. His writing has been featured on The Mighty, Relevant Magazine, Charisma News, Thought Catalog, Patheos, and more. Robert also co-hosts a podcast on Christianity & mental health called CXMH, as well as being a certified QPR Suicide Prevention Instructor for groups of any size. He is currently working towards his Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
In Episode 38 of The #AskSteveAustin Podcast, Steve Austin is honored to have Trey Pearson on the show. In this episode, Trey shares songs from his new EP, “Love is Love”, plus dives deep into his story of coming out of the closet while he was married to a woman.
Some questions from today’s conversation:
What’s it like growing up in a conservative home, being taught that sexual orientation is a matter of choice, and having to suppress your thoughts and feelings and desires?
And what advice would you give to the teenager, being raised in a conservative family and/or evangelical Christianity, who is just waking up to who they really are?
You were married to a woman for 7 years before you came out as a gay man, what was the tipping point for you?
What do you want to say to the gay man, who is scared to death, hiding behind the mask of a heterosexual marriage?
With his band Everyday Sunday, Trey Pearson has sold hundreds of thousands of records, and amassed millions of streams. He has scored 5 #1 U.S. singles and 20 Top 10 hits. His song “Wake Up! Wake Up!” was the most-played Christian rock song of 2007, and his 2009 album, “Best Night of Our Lives,” broke onto the coveted Billboard 200 chart. Pearson has toured in all 50 states and 20 countries, playing with top Christian musicians such as Toby Mac, Switchfoot, MercyMe, Jeremy Camp, Relient K and others.
Recently, Trey Pearson, the founder and owner of Everyday Sunday, has come out of the closet to make national news. His announcement started a national conversation with a television appearance on The View. It has been covered by The New York Times, Billboard Magazine, CNN and more, as he became the most trending topic worldwide on Facebook.
Trey is so generous and so excited about this album that he wants to give away one autographed copy of his brand-new Album, love is love. For your chance to win, follow me on Twitter @iamsteveaustin and Retweet my pinned post that’s all about today’s episode. I’ll announce the winner of the autographed copy of Love is Love at the beginning of next week’s show.
Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.
Who are you? At the core of your being – who are you? Steve Austin’s weekly affirmation #5 is all about being at peace. When we learn to live in peace with God, others, and (most importantly) ourselves, the wind may howl, the waves may crash, and the thunder may boom all around us, but our hearts remain unshaken.
Welcome to the 5th and final week of Steve Austin’s affirmation episode. This week’s theme: peace. This special feature is a mix of affirmations, meditation, contemplation, and prayer. Steve hopes it encourages you to get silent, look deep into your soul, below the surface of all the noise and find out who you are at the core of your being.
What are the roots of sabbath and why is it applicable in today’s world?
How can we begin to see Sabbath as liberating, rather than just one more thing to add to our already insurmountable to-do list?
For those of us who identify as clergy, or even spiritual helpers, self-care often gets tossed to the wayside, due to the various tasks that seem to beg for our immediate attention. What are a few tips you’d give to those who are too busy to practice much Sabbath on Sundays?
What issues does the church (as a whole) need to address when it comes to sabbath-keeping?
What do you mean when you say relational Sabbath?
What are some practical tips for overcoming obstacles and keeping sabbath in a noisy, 24/7 world?
You talk about crafting a sabbath plan. Where do we even begin?
In Episode 35, Steve Austin chats with his friend and life coaching colleague, Sheena Jeffers, about practical and powerful ways to recover your life.
So many people feel buried under piles of shame, secrets, fear, and unrealistic expectations. If you’re tired of just barely getting by, and are ready to start living the fullest life possible, this is the conversation you’ve been waiting for!
Sheena Jeffers is a writer, dancer, yoga teacher, and wellness life coach currently living full-time on her sailboat in Norfolk, Virginia. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Sheena grew up the granddaughter of a Southern-Baptist preacher in a small town.
She studied English and Journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University and after graduating college, she started the internationally-known dance education blog, Ballet Shoes & Bobby Pins.
She wrote for Answers.com while completing graduate school where she studied innovative learning techniques through the arts.
Sheena founded and co-owns WELLwomen, Inc., a corporation dedicated to the replenishment of women. She promotes wholehearted living through private yoga and life coaching sessions, as well as her writing on her blogwww.sheenajeffers.com andwww.seaslifeforgood.com.
Sheena lives on a 43-foot Catamaran named Seas Life, and hopes to bring wellness to the world around her wherever she travels.
Today we’re talking about some of life’s big questions:
Who are you?
Why are you here?
Where are you going?
After listening to today’s episode, listeners can go to AskSteveAustin.com and click on the show notes for today’s episode to sign up for my FREE Self-Discovery Starter Kit. (http://bit.ly/2wnYQ5A) This free resource includes a series of 4 emails with printable worksheets for each day.