Category: faith

The Other America

A snarky take on the slow path of progress

On April 14, 1967, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King gave his speech at Stanford University entitled, “The Other America.” It’s a call to action that is as relevant today as it was back then. It’s also a stark reminder that we’ve got lots of work left to do.

Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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Church of the Safe Injection

A snarky take on addiction and recovery

Drug-overdose deaths set a record in 2017 with more than 70,000 Americans losing their lives to addiction.

How should people of faith respond to this epidemic?

Thoughts and prayers? Hardly.

Jessie Harvey is the founder of Church of the Safe Injection. It is a coalition of harm-reduction advocates working to distribute thousands of syringes as well as hundreds of doses of naloxone in cities across the country. They create a safe space handing out clean drug-using supplies in areas known for their drug use.

Our society has a ‘get sober or die’ response to addiction with no middle ground on the road towards help and healing. The church in America is no different. Praying the addiction away isn’t the answer. Through the Church of the Safe Injection, Jessie is seeking to create a path towards sobriety and harm reduction. This is the first step.

Join us as we talk about this epidemic and how Church of the Safe Injection is creating a difference within a system that doesn’t want them to exist.

Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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Faith Lies

A snarky take on faith

Dr. Darrell Smith is a teacher, writer, and an aspiring integral theologian who has served in the Alamo Heights United Methodist family of churches since 1999. He founded and serves as a director of C3—a non-profit organization committed to conversations and connections that serve people and the common good.

Join us today as Darrell talks about his new book, Faith Lies: 7 Incomplete Ideas That Hijack Faith and How to See Beyond Them. It’s a fascinating look into the lies we believe and how they affect the way our faith grows and progresses. We’ll talk through the importance of wrestling through issues and why dialogue is essential for a healthy community.

Let’s dive beneath the surface of faith as we talk through what matters most and what needs to be dropped in the journey ahead.

You can find out more about Darrell here. 

Faith Lies is available on Amazon. 

Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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Stretching the Truth

A snarky take on truthiness

“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”
― Barry Goldwater

Living in an age where we’re being told that truth isn’t the truth. It’s hard to know what’s actually going on when the goalposts are constantly changing. How far can you stretch the truth and still get away with it? Well, if you look at American Christianity, you can stretch it pretty far and no one seems to notice.

Christianity has a big problem with the truth. It’s traded timeless truths for prestige, power, and platform and lost the message of Jesus in the process. We’ve swapped the mission of God for a terrestrial power grab.

When faith becomes obsessed with politics, wealth and influence we’ve certainly lost the plot.

Christians say the word ‘love’ but when they say it, the meaning of the word is lost. The ‘love’ they speak of isn’t the same ‘love’ Jesus talked about. To look at Conservative Christianity, do we see love? The word has become empty and inert.

American Christianity has become a con where it only seems to care about itself. The mandate to love has been lost.

If we’ve lost that message of sacrificial love, then we’ve lost Jesus. We’ve lost his truth. We’ve lost it all.

It’s not too late, but we need to stop buying the lies and remaining silent.

 

Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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How To Get Involved

a snarky take on getting off your ass and getting involved

The year 2018 will be known as the year of outrage.

It’s been filled with atrocities at home and abroad, protests, scandals, and mass incompetence. With the Trump administration at the wheel, America’s heading off a cliff at full speed.

It’s easy to get caught up in the cloud of outrage. We rage on social media. We rage as we read the news. We rage as we protest. Sometimes, it makes a difference but most often, it doesn’t. It just becomes a cloud of anger.

The problem with this is that outrage is easy. Getting involved is hard work and costs something of us.

Adam McLane is someone who couldn’t take it anymore, so he took his outrage and thrust it into action. Living in San Diego and reading the reports of the migrant caravan approaching the US Southern border, Adam couldn’t stand idly by and do nothing. He decided to get involved and do what he could. What resulted has been an incredible story of what it looks like to turn your outrage into action.

We’ll talk today about what it takes to make that first step towards making a difference. So, let’s get involved!

If 2018 was the year of outrage, let’s make 2019 the year of action.


If you want to help out and donate to Adam’s deliveries to Tijuana, you can click here to buy items for aid via Adam’s Amazon Wish.

By Christmas, about 9,000 people will need shelter at the border. Right now, most people are sleeping on cardboard at a park in a government-run shelter. If you’re interested in donating to Praying Pelican Missions and their work with asylum seekers in Tijuana you can click here.

Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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The Naked Pastor

a snarky take on art as activism with The Naked Pastor

“All art is kind of a confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.”

– James Baldwin

David Hayward is a pastor, artist, and coach. He’s also known as The Naked Pastor; a graffiti artist on the walls of religion. His art has been seen by millions of people and his voice is undeniable.

David was baptized Anglican as a baby, came to faith in a Baptist church when he was a teenager, and changed to Pentecostal in his late teens. Then, he married another Pentecostal named Lisa, was ordained Presbyterian, pastored a Vineyard church, went Independent, and planted other churches before he left the church completely.

Join us as David shares his journey and the wisdom he has found along the way. David’s art continues to speak as a confession to the dystopian landscape that is the American church. He speaks not as an outsider, but one who deeply loves his faith and can’t stand seeing Christ’s ministry hijacked. We’ll talk about leaving the church, art as activism, and finding hope in a crazy world. It’s certain to be a wild ride.

For more from David and his art visit his website: https://nakedpastor.com

Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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The Gospel of Selfishness

a snarky take on Christian selfishness.

Oh, Christianity, what has become of you? It’s been some two-thousand years since your beginnings and you’ve strayed so far from your roots. You don’t even look the same anymore.

There’s plenty of blame to be had, but where to begin? We could speak of so many issues like capitalism, materialism, greed, misogyny, racism, or bigotry but those would just be the beginning of a long list. There are so many things that have blown you off course, but one sin seems to pervasively rot your roots and taint your message. The gospel of Jesus has been hijacked. It’s been usurped.

To look at Christianity now, it’s become evident that it’s all about the gospel of selfishness.

Does the church care anymore about being Christlike or is more about winning a culture war? Since when did Jesus’ message of love, hope, compassion, and grace become about control, and grasping for power, and influence? Furthermore, how did anything associated with the servant Jesus become so damn selfish?

Join us today as we begin to scratch the surface of this insidious cancer that moves forward in plain sight. At first, the church seemed to acquiesce it with little changes here and there, but now, they’ve practically rolled out the red carpet to welcome it in. You see selfishness in their mission statements and programs. The sanctuaries are decorated in it. Even the Sunday morning service has now become a full-blown show of self-worship. Sure, Jesus is name-checked for good measure, but don’t be mistaken, the church is all about you.

Don’t believe me? Well, then, join us as we embark on this journey of discovery into the maddening reality that the American Church no longer cares for the ways of Jesus. They’re much more concerned with self-gratification than the ways of Jesus.

Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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My Story

A snarky take on my story.

In times of stress and chaos, we can easily lose ourselves in the onslaught of information and misinformation. It hits us like waves. We’re told how to think. We’re told how to believe. We learn to be reactionary and respond to whatever comes our way. Piece by piece, our humanity slowly strips away. We begin to forget who we are and what we’re made of. We lose the plot of our own stories. It’s in these times that we must remind ourselves of the truth of our own journeys.

Our story matters.

The power of our own stories serves to be a memorial of who we are and where we’ve come from. It’s in these places that we gain perspective to remind us of what is important and what drives us. We return to our own story because it is our own. It tells us who we are, what matters to us, and where to go next.

I’ve had the pleasure and honor of hearing people’s stories in my own life. Through this radio show, I also receive letters from listeners where I hear tales of hope and courage but also of pain and loss. It takes bravery to tell your story. It takes even more to own your story and live it out with intention and purpose.

Today, I’ll share my story (or at least part of it) and how that story led me to start this radio show. It’s not an epic tale of legend, but it’s still mine. There are wonderful parts, but it’s also filled with loss and pain. It makes me who I am. I own it and honor it as I continue to journey forward into an uncertain future. Like your story, mine is still evolving. I’ve personally been on this journey for over forty years. I hope to meet you along the way.

Safe travels.

Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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Straight Talk with Justin Meier

a snarky take with Justin Meier

In times of crisis and calamity, it’s always helpful to have an honest talk with a good friend. You know, those talks when you’re just able to let things go and get to the heart of the situation. Justin Meier is one of those people in my life.

A few weeks back, I sat down with Justin to chat about the state of the world and the American church. We’ll talk through the general areas where the church is missing the mark and then dial down deeper to talk about how ill-equipped they are to help individuals and families dealing with mental illness. The church has struck out in this area. Sadly, many churches are often a breeding ground for mental health issues too. This needs to change.

So what can be done to change this? Is there a way churches can change their approach and also engage better with community health providers in order to help give a holistic approach for the support and healing process?

Join us for the conversation to find out more!

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Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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Surviving Thanksgiving

A snarky take on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is upon us in America. This day often fills us with thoughts of delicious food, family and friends. From the Macy’s parade to football to the tradition of overindulgence. That’s the kind of empty nostalgia best left to Hallmark cards.

Thanksgiving’s the holiday we just can’t quit.

The reality of Thanksgiving is much different. Thanksgiving Day is ripe for drama and dysfunction. You’ve got your mother drinking too much and “getting honest” with everyone and Grandpa telling his racist jokes as a holiday treat from yesteryear that no one asked for. There’s that needy aunt that needs to know everything about your life… I mean everything.

We’ve all got that uncle that sees conspiracy theories as an opportunities to broaden his horizons. Don’t worry, he’ll fill you in on all his ‘research’ from the past year. Then, there’s that one stinking kid. You know the little idiot wiping his snot everywhere and you just know you’ll be sick by Monday. He’s such a treasure.

Ask yourself this. Why else do people flock to Black Friday sales? You thought it was about great deals and savings, right? It’s really just an excuse for jailbreak and an escape the family dysfunction that is Thanksgiving Day in America.

You’ve got your dysfunctional tribe and I’ve got mine, so today, obviously, we’ll talk about the dangers of living in echo chambers and toxic tribalism. How does this relate to Thanksgiving? This holiday is an opportunity to see a diverse cross-section of needs, ideas, insecurities, and personalities. It’s also a time for you to begin to look at others in different ways, and it’s an opportunity for us to look deeper into our own issues and biases.

With a country that continues to become more fractured and polarized, we must move towards change. It’s easy to call the other side to change, but the real work begins when we start to change ourselves. Thanksgiving is a great opportunity for that.

If all else fails, we’ll also talk through key strategies for surviving Thanksgiving. One way or the other, Snarky Faith has you covered.

Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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