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.
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.
Welcome to episode 49 of The UnSunday Show. Let’s talk about faith. In the letter to the Hebrews we’re told that without faith it’s impossible to please [God]. That sounds a little daunting. Does that mean I’m responsible to fabricate a certain amount of faith every day to make sure God is happy with me? What if I fail in my attempts at faith? Is God displeased with me? How do I know when I’ve succeeded? How much faith is enough faith? How do I know when I’ve done enough? In the letter to the Ephesians we read that faith is a gift. But how can it be both a requirement and a gift? That seems like a contradiction.
This episode centers around Galatians 2:20 where Paul said:
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” These words of Jesus on the cross have led many to the conclusion that God left Jesus while he was dying on the cross. That because Jesus had become sin for us, the Father turned away from him because he can’t look on sin. But is that what was happening? Let’s talk about it.
Welcome to episode 34 of The UnSunday Show with Mike & Mac. This episode is a continuation in many ways of last week’s episode. We recorded this one immediately after last week’s with the intention of making it its own episode, and here it is!
Jesus is better. That’s one of the themes of the New Testament letter to the Hebrews. Jesus is better. He’s better than the angels, he’s better than Moses, he’s better than the Levitical priests of the Old Covenant, he’s better than the Old Covenant. All of these things in the Old Testament were types and shadows that pictured Jesus, but Jesus is better. He’s a better priest with a better sacrifice, a better mediator with a better covenant. Let’s talk about it…
Welcome to episode 27 of The UnSunday Show podcast. Way back in episode 9 we talked about 1 John 1:9 and what John meant when he said if we confess our sins [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We concluded that John was targeting unbelievers within the group – those who were sin deniers and outside of the family of faith. But what about those of us who believer? What if we sin? Have we lost fellowship with God? John addressed that in chapter 2 of the same letter.
In this episode, I am bringing over a recent episode of my Grace Grace Cafe Podcast where I talked about that topic. It’s in chapter 2 of 1 John, not chapter 1 where John addresses the topic of believers when we sin and he doesn’t tell us to confess our sins over and over, but to remember what is already ours in Jesus, total forgiveness of all of our sins, past, present, and future. Now that’s good news!
Welcome to episode 11 of The UnSunday Show. Let’s talk about community and accountability. Most of us think community and accountability are two sides of the same coin, or that one (accountability) is necessary for the other (community) to function. Community is the agreed upon goal and we think accountability is the bus that will take us there. But it’s not. That bus is traveling in the opposite direction.
Accountability encourages people to pretend. Community invites us into the Father’s affection where we can feel safe and accepted, fully known and fully loved without any pretense. In an accountability structure, we learn to hide the stuff that’s the real us or that we think will disappoint others and God. We learn how to fake it and which masks to wear to fake people out in every circumstance. In accountability structures, we are focused on getting people to do what they don’t really want to do by way of manipulation and behavior management with corresponding rewards and punishments.
Welcome to episode 10 of The UnSunday Show. We’ve reached double-digits! In this episode I talk about two phrases in scripture that religion has successfully convinced us are spiritual disciplines: dying daily and bearing our cross. Religion has turned these into closely related spiritual disciplines where I need to be killing myself off every day and learning to hold up under the weight of life’s circumstances, or bearing my cross.
But is that what these phrases mean? Are bearing my cross and dying daily spiritual disciplines indicative of spiritual maturity? Let’s talk about it.
Welcome to episode 9 of The UnSunday Show. Let’s talk about 1 John 1:9 and the confession of sins. This passage says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The question I address in this episode is does John mean believers should be repeatedly confessing sins in order to experience forgiveness up to that point in time? If so, how do we reconcile 1 John 1:9 with other New Testament passages that teach the once-for-all forgiveness of sins secured on the cross? Let’s talk about it.