061 | The Long and Winding Road of Institutional Christianity

How did we get to where we are today in an institutional church culture so firmly planted in the centrality of the pastor? This episode is a look at a few key moments in the history of institutional Christianity that have brought us to where we are today – into a church culture of top-down authority where the pastor has been handed all authority and cannot be questioned.

Links I mention:

-Enjoy!

060 | The New Covenant Starting Point and The Four Biographies

Greetings everyone! This last-day-of-2021 episode is an unscripted rambling by yours truly about the dawn of a new year, what is ours in the New Covenant, the importance of having an Old Covenant/New Covenant distinction when reading Scripture, and how much gospel is actually in the gospels? Push Play to join in!

Links I mention in this episode:

Book to Recommend: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee by Michael C. Kapler

Happy New Year! I wish you and yours all the best in 2022!

Mike

059 | An Open Conversation About Institutional Christianity

My wife Susan joined me on this episode as we delved into our thoughts together about institutional Christianity and institutional religion and the effects and impact it leaves on people. Our view of institutional Christianity isn’t neutral. Our view of God is directly impacted by our view of institutional Christianity in so many ways. This conversation explores some of the ways this happens, whether overtly, or covertly. 

-Enjoy!

058 | Preach the Word: Was Timothy a Pastor?

Welcome to episode 58 of The UnSunday Show. This is the concluding part of what I introduced last week concerning how modern institutional religion requires pastors to be something we don’t see in the New Covenant scriptures. Church tradition tells us that Timothy was a pastor, carrying out the duties we see modern institutional church pastors doing. They insist that Paul’s directive to Timothy to “preach the word” is one indication that Timothy was a pastor, meaning that like modern institutional religion, Timothy got behind a pulpit week after week and did expository, verse-by-verse preaching of the Bible.

But is that what Paul meant when he penned those words to Timothy or is this another instance of us imposing our modern church practices back onto what we read in scripture in order to justify what we do? Was Timothy a pastor? Let’s talk about it.

057 | Institutional Church Pastors and Their New Testament Counterparts – Part One

Welcome to episode 57 of the UnSunday Show. I received a note from David, one of the listeners to this podcast, who asked for my take on Timothy as a pastor and how the function of modern church pastors differs from the function of their New Testament counterparts. I flipped the order of this to talk about the differences first and then next week, I’ll be taking a look at Timothy while continuing to build on the differences. 

Comparing the differences between how modern institutional church pastors function and the function of pastors in the New Testament is like comparing apples to oranges. One of these is not like the other. So let’s talk about it.

056 | Church and Ekklesia: One of These Is Not Like The Other

Welcome to episode 56 of The UnSunday Show. Let’s talk about institutional church and the ekklesia because one of these is not like the other. Did you know Jesus never used the word church? And yet the word church is all over our New Testaments. How did it get there and what does it imply? This episode is a bit of a rant as I talk about a couple of differences between church and the body of Christ, the ekklesia. 

-Enjoy!

055 | The Obedience of Faith: Why You Measure Up Regardless of Your Performance

Welcome to episode 55 of The UnSunday Show. Let’s talk about obedience. Doesn’t that sound fun? I’ve found it to be true that in almost every institutional church setting, the topic of Christian obedience in one form or another, dominates the landscape. It’s peppered throughout sermons to varying degrees (most of the time, overtly), it’s written into our church membership contracts (yes, those are contracts), it’s presented as the final solution in counseling sessions, it’s used as an enforcement tactic when church leaders threaten you with excommunication, it’s used as a guilt tactic to get you to confirm to church rules and dogma and to submit to church staff, and it’s at the center of most, if not all, discipleship groups and discipleship curriculum. Wow! I think that’s the longest sentence I’ve typed so far in 2021.

In short, we’ve made a mess of “Christian obedience”. Definitions of obedience and to what or to whom we should be giving our allegiance will vary from group to group and denomination to denomination. But rest assured that in almost every definition, Bible verses will be taken out of context and used to prove that you don’t measure up, diminishing the work of Christ on your behalf, who has already made you obedient from the heart.

Let’s talk. 

054 | Religion’s Priority of the Pulpit – Part 2

Welcome to episode 54 of the UnSunday Show. Let’s continue talking about pulpits and institutional religion’s obsession with the pulpit and how it’s been elevated to such a place of prominence in institutional Christianity. Charles Spurgeon said this concerning pulpits:

“The moment the church of God shall despise the pulpit, God will despise her.”

This quote is one example of several that I share in this episode to show how the system of religion has elevated the pulpit, and the person behind it to a harmful status at the expense of a healthy functioning of spiritual gifts by every member of the body of Christ. In the process we’re left with a crippling view of the body of Christ.

Let’s talk…

053 | Religion’s Priority of the Pulpit – Part 1

Welcome to episode 53 of The UnSunday Show. This is part one of two on the subject of pulpits and institutional religion’s requirement of keeping the pulpit at the center of its Sunday events. I have a lot to say about this but my laptop battery ran down as I was recording this and I wasn’t near my charger, so I stopped where I was, making this part one of two. Part Two will drop next week.