Tag: Change

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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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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Beauty in the Wreckage: An Interview with Brandon Andress

A snarky take on suffering and shalom

In a world with so much pain, suffering, hostility, stress, and anxiety, how is it possible to experience life to the fullest?

If you read the news headlines or scroll through social media, we’re stuck seeing the worst of humanity on a daily basis. The outlook looks pretty grim, but is there another way?

Joining the show today, is author, Brandon Andress. In his new book, Beauty in the Wreckage: Finding Peace in the Age of Outrage, Brandon sets out to give us a different way to look at things. If he’s right, his message is just what we need right now.

In the book, Brandon makes the surprising discovery that, even in the heartache, the hostility, the division, the violence, and the oppression, experiencing “life to the fullest,” a life of shalom, is not just possible, it can be our present reality. But in order to discover it, we must learn how to see and live differently—moment by moment—for the transformation of our lives, our families, our relationships, and our communities.

Most of us are no stranger to suffering, but it’s how we respond to that suffering that has the chance to change us for the better. Brandon shares personal stores about the transformative nature of suffering and the necessity of finding shalom. It’s a wonderful soulful chat that you won’t want to miss.

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

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Brandon Andress is the author of three books:

Beauty in the Wreckage- Finding Peace in the Age of Outrage (2018)

AND THEN THE END WILL COME! (2013)

UnearthedHow Discovering the Kingdom of God Will Transform the Church and Change the World (2010)

He podcasts at Outside the Walls (Available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher) and writes for his popular blogs Brandon Andress and A Joyful Procession. Brandon earned his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University and his BA in Psychology from Hanover College. He loves the outdoors, hiking, camping, and traveling.


It’s Time We Had a Family Talk

A snarky take on what to do now

It’s time we had a family talk because things in this world keep getting crazier.

Toxic politics, racism, misogyny, greed, and selfishness are eroding us as a culture. These are a symptom of a greater problem. So, this talk is well overdue. I know that no one really wants to have one, but it is time.

Faith as being exercised or imagined as a political party is no faith at all. American Christianity has lost its way. Politics and preference have become the new compass. Is it even about Jesus anymore? Or is it more about winning. I’m just sick of the whole spectacle and I know I’m not alone.

So, enough with the conspiracy theories, excuses or theological gymnastics. We need to stop and take a hard look at ourselves. Frankly, it’s not Trump. He’s certainly a problem, but he’s not the problem. He’s not the president we wanted, but maybe he’s the one we deserve, America.

Sound harsh? I know it is, but these are those moments when we need to have a sobering look in the mirror and an honest talk.

I’ve gone from being sick and tried to just being tired of all this. It seems like we’ve lost common decency and are moving down the road towards losing our humanity. This rot is rotting us.

So join us this week, as we have a family talk. It’s necessary. Change begins with us. It begins with how we think, respond, love and how we chose to react or not react to the problems we face. This won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy. We can be better. We must be better. And at the end of the day, Jesus calls us to be better.

Anyone with me?

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

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Leatherbound Terrorism

A Kratzer take on Conservative Evangelicalism

Chris Kratzer is that unique voice crying out from the wilderness in these crazy times. Conservative Evangelicalism has become a cancer on American Christianity. In his new book, Leatherbound Terrorism, Kratzer is an absolute wrecking ball. He speaks in real, raw, and honest truths exposing how far Christianity has moved from its source.

Through his own experiences serving as a conservative pastor for 23 years, Chris shares stories from his journey of disillusionment and the nagging questions that eventually awakened him to the depths of God’s grace. Chris is a brave truth-teller and a unique voice.

If you’ve also found yourself disillusioned by the church, this is the book for you. It holds no punches, but it’s also hopeful as it offers an alternative to a faith that has long been hijacked, institutionalized, and monetized. The church is broken and in need of fixing.

This book is a hope-filled message that needs to be heard in the age of Trump and the Religious Right. It reminds us God’s love wins out. There is hope. There is more. This book is a call to step outside of institutionalized Christianity in order to find Jesus.

Join us for a wild ride as we talk with Chris about Leatherbound Terrorism. The book is a great read and this show is a wild ride. Enjoy!

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

Leatherbound Terrorism is available on Amazon 

For more on Chris Kratzer click HERE

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Fight the Powers: An Interview with Cody Cook

A snarky take on America as a Christian nation

Sometimes life steers you in interesting directions. Sometimes your path intersects with fascinating people with a unique take on the world. Cody Cook is an author with an intriguing voice. In his new book, Fight the Powers: What the Bible Says About the Relationship Between Spiritual Forces and Human Governments, Cook blends apologetics and biblical theology in regards to how Christians should engage in politics.

Join us for a wild ride as we talk about the problematic nature of blending Christian ethics with political ideology. One side wins and it’s not usually the right one. Fuelled by fear, Evangelicals continue to push the church further down a road of no return.

Why do Evangelicals continue to need to call America a “Christain nation”? What does declaring that over and over mean to them? It’s almost as if it’s a mantra like they are trying to convince themselves that their bad behavior is somehow justified. If God is on their side, then who can oppose them. It’s just another excuse that leads them further and further from a faith that resembles Jesus.

Gain the world, but lose your soul? Join us as we delve into this with Cody Cook. It’s a fun and wild ride so buckle up.

For more on Cody Cook, you can check out his blog posts, podcasts, and other writings at www.cantus-firmus.com.

Click here to find Fight the Powers: What the Bible Says About the Relationship Between Spiritual Forces and Human Governments 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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This A-Hole?

A snarky take on Mike Pence

Trump is terrible. I mean he’s beyond your wildest dreams terrible. There are times where I am literally impressed with the depths of his awfulness. If you’re a listener of this show, none of this should surprise you.

So, today, let’s talk about Vice President Mike Pence. Is he any better than his boss? He’s the so-called adult in the room. He’s the stalwart pillar of bland virtue to the Conservatives. He may seem like a mother-loving Buster Bluth, but Mike Pence is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

The term ‘impeachment’ has become commonplace fodder and become the go-to for envisioning a way out of this nightmarish hellscape of American politics. I totally understand the rationale for wanting impeachment, but it’s also a cheat. You get rid of one big orange problem and are left with another misogynist, bigoted one except Pence knows the game. He’s measured and is far more conservative than Trump.

I hate to break it to you, but Mike Pence is just as bad as Donald Trump.

How bad is Pence? It’s like if the Billy Graham rule was also racist. The evangelicals choose to see Pence as a virtuous altar boy of the faith when he’s actually closer to being that predator priest. He’s misguided, complicit, and waiting for his shot. Christians may rejoice about this supposed man of God, but the rest of us should be worried. He’s the religious right’s wet dream and also their plan B. Let’s not be fooled by the urgency of the now. We must also keep our eyes open for the evil in waiting.

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

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WTF Church

Another snarky take on American Christianity

When you stand back and look at American Christianity as it stands today, it’s not hard to see the cracks. There are fundamental flaws that plague American Christianity. We’ll journey through the week’s news to see how Christianity is missing the point. Not only are they missing the point, they may not even be on the same page with Jesus anymore. Christendom is broken in America. Can we fix it?

Of course, we can fix it. The bigger question is, do we want to fix it? Just because something is broken, it doesn’t mean that the owners are willing to do the work to fix it. That’s a problem. Who really owns Christianity anymore? Jesus? Oh, hell no. As the faith marches forward, it looks less and less like its founder and God. Again, I’ll say it. This is a big problem. WTF church?

This week, we look through the lens of faith and culture to point out some of the major cracks. We’ll go through the Bill Hybels scandal, Greg Laurie, and the SoCal Harvest Festival. We’ll even look into the pedo that founded the Christian “rock festival” Creationfest. A show about why Christian rock is not really rock will possibly happen in the future but not today. That’s not the point. We’ll talk through our issues with pastor worship and commercialization of the church in general. WTF church?

The church is fundamentally broken. The problem is fixable, but those in power are unwilling to right the ship. The ship looks nothing like Jesus and neither do the Christian leaders navigating it, so why is the Church in America messed up? Well, for starters, it looks more like a business model and less like a movement. The church has learned over decades to care more about itself than about those in our communities that are hurting and in need of help, compassion, and grace. Seriously, WTF church?!?

If Jesus left the church, would you leave as well?

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

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Religious Liberty for Some

A snarky take on the Religious Liberty Task Force

With the newly established Religious Liberty Task Force, Jeff Sessions is once again rolling back time and progress in an effort to pacify the Evangelical Right. It’s a simple knee-jerk reaction to the cries of persecution from Trump’s conservative religious base and also Jeff Session’s naughty, bigoted wet dream.

Privilege is defined as “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.” Those that have privilege don’t want to give it up, and for those that live with privileges, when other people outside the group get equal standing, it may seem like there has been a loss. Equality for all is not the problem. Hate and bigotry are. This is just another symptom of white, privileged evangelicals wanting to keep their protections under the law exclusive to themselves. This isn’t about liberty at all. It’s about discrimination.

When establishing this new task force, Sessions says that, “We have gotten to the point where courts have held that morality cannot be a basis for law, where ministers are fearful to affirm, as they understand it, holy writ from the pulpit, and where one group can actively target religious groups by labeling them a ‘hate group’ on the basis of their sincerely held religious beliefs.” This should be scary enough for the nonbeliever. Those inside the congregation should also be appalled by the hijacking of faith in such an overtly political, power-hungry manner, though, I doubt that they’ll think beyond their own comfort and pleasure. As you may know, comfort, preference, and pleasure were all things Jesus highly valued. 🙄(sarcasm implied)

What does religious freedom look like in an egalitarian age? If Trump, Sessions, and Conservative Christians have their way, we’ll never know. It’s too bad that Jesus never gets a say in this or are we just not listening?

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

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