64 episodes

Are you a person who witnessed hypocrisy in the church and decided it was time to move on? Church Hurts is for you. We saw some of the same things and are asking, “And?” Join us as we tackle issues from every walk of life, delve into the spiritual without apology and ask, “What’s the Church got to do with it?”

Church Hurts And Dr. John Bash

    • Religion & Spirituality

Are you a person who witnessed hypocrisy in the church and decided it was time to move on? Church Hurts is for you. We saw some of the same things and are asking, “And?” Join us as we tackle issues from every walk of life, delve into the spiritual without apology and ask, “What’s the Church got to do with it?”

    The Most Reluctant Convert with Max McLean

    The Most Reluctant Convert with Max McLean

    Who is your favorite famous personality, writer, actor, politician? Isn’t that an easy ice breaker for a small group discussion? I’m guessing your mind is already wondering to that person, thinking of favorite anecdotes you have about them on the tip of you tongue.


    But now imagine you have the opportunity to introduce this person to the world, not just with words, but you get to play the part in a movie about them.


    Today, we welcome stage and screen actor, Max McLean, a man whose credits are easily found on Google, or better yet at the Fellowship for the Performing Arts web page: fpatheater.com, where Max is the founder & artistic director. He is here today because in just a handful of days, on November 3rd, there is a major one day release of a compelling movie telling the untold story of C.S. Lewis entitled, “The Most Reluctant Convert.” Welcome Max McLean.


    https://www.churchhurtsand.org


    Closing:


    Closing:


    A few words before we close. What church should you go to? 


    “And above all, you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint and panelling…the question should never be: ‘Do I like that kind of service?’ but ‘Are these doctrines true: Is holiness there? Does my conscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance to move to this door due to my pride, or my mere taste, or my personal dislike for this particular door-keeper?” 


    ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


    In my lifetime I have observed faith in God moving from a rather passive assumption in the culture around me, to a rather passive irrelevance. “Which church do you go to?” is a question with far more assumptions than a modern American would now make. Atheists have claimed the high ground in academia, somehow assuming they have won the day, disinterested in revisiting arguments from antiquity which allowed theism to dominate in world history.


    In my world I come across a lot of atheists and less courageous agnostics. When allowed the chance I often express to them my envy of their assurance. I tell them I might be willing to join them, but I just can’t get there intellectually. This usually causes them pause. That’s their line. “Did he just say he can’t get to atheism intellectually?”


    What they don’t know is that I don’t believe they came to a belief in the absence of God intellectually either. It doesn’t take a genius to look at a sunset and have a pretty strong intuition that this didn’t come from nothing, or chance which is another word for nothing. As prayers are cancelled in public gatherings, I haven’t noticed many hospitals and senior centers asking for fewer chaplains. When one is waiting for results of the cancer screening, I don’t know many calling out to the local atheist society for help.


    In you are reluctant to follow thinking which could land you in the camp of Christ followers, perhaps it would be worth the time to meet one of your predecessors. His name is C.S. Lewis. You can find him in the movie “The Most Reluctant Convert.” Oh, and don’t be surprised if he becomes a rather good friend.


    It’s Worth a Thought


    For Church Hurts And, this is John Bash. Go and enjoy God today.

    • 28 min
    God, Golf, and Grace with Dr. Doug Rehberg

    God, Golf, and Grace with Dr. Doug Rehberg

    Producer: Church Hurts And is a listener-supported podcast. Please go to ChurchHurtsAnd.org and click on the DONATE button to become part of our support team. 


    Do you need grace? Tired of feeling judged by Christians? Stay tuned as we look at God, Golf, and Grace with Dr. Doug Rehberg.


    I have seen huge cultural shifts in my time, a comment worthy of one who admits to being an old curmudgeon. One of those shifts was in the role and status of the clergyman. When growing up, the clergy was among the most respected professions in America. A local minister was revered in a way, often asked to open public meetings in prayer, provide benedictions at political functions, sought after for wisdom in times of crisis, and appreciated for his willingness to visit shut-ins, perform funerals, and preside over weddings. Often his counsel was even desired the way professional therapists are today.


    While historically clergy have been among the most educated people in society for over two thousand years, they have also been notoriously underpaid, treated at times as “the help,” tipped a little extra at Christmas, or recipients of extra vegetables from the garden. There were other benefits as well, sometimes including a home while they served the church, along with a coveted free membership at the local country club, or at least the opportunity to play on Mondays when courses were traditionally closed.


    Early in my ministry, I discovered those days were fading, which isn’t saying I didn’t pine away wishing for them to return. Ministry, as a “profession” was being stained daily by abuses as educational qualifications for ordination, were watered down by many independent and congregational churches. 


    Today we have a guest a man who straddled that generational gap as well as any I know. Highly respected in his community, he honored his country club for their generosity to him. He used their fairways to minister to many, and find refreshment for his own soul.


    Let’s welcome the Reverend Dr. Doug Rehberg, author of the new book, “God, Golf and Grace.


     


    If you have benefitted from these podcasts, please consider joining our support team at Standing Stone Ministry. ChurchHurtsAnd.org

    • 28 min
    Improving Lives by Design with Architect Ron Thomas

    Improving Lives by Design with Architect Ron Thomas

    Have you ever had something happen to you which has haunted you for your entire life?


    Playing in the woods was my favorite part of childhood in suburban Pittsburgh. As those years passed, the woods continued to provide new discoveries, new paths, new creatures, and invited adventures created by developing adolescent minds. Tadpoles and insects soon came to be replaced by the thought of building our place of habitation, free from adult eyes, nasty weather, and a safe refuge from the watching world.


    Finding the right spot took many weeks of roaming through the trees, wanting to be close enough to civilization to provide easy access, but far enough in to be hidden even during the winter months when the leaves were gone. Of course, we didn't want to dig too much; a level spot would be ideal. Imagine going through the design and materials stage with the resources of early teens. As you might imagine, all of this was facilitated by the slowing sprawling suburban neighborhood. New construction was asking for little boys to come to steal a few sheets of plywood, 2x4s, and nails.


    I undertook this project with my partner, Jim, whose father was an attorney. My dad was an insurance man. That's my way of suggesting our trade skills were at best lacking, as was proven by the result. But we had a shack, and we were proud of it. 


    Over the years of life, I have remained handyman-challenged, constantly in need of friends with developed skills and knowledge. But I have also come to appreciate those who design in the mind structures which provide the walls we live within. Boring designs make me yawn. Poor construction, I find repulsive. Yet somehow, there seems to be a connection between our view of life and the buildings we build and live in. Perhaps they even say something about God.


    Today we have a guest who can make sense out of these meanderings, welcome Architect Ron Thomas to Church Hurts And.


    Dr. John Bash is a shepherd with Standing Stone, a ministry that ministers to ministers, a need as important in this time as any in our lifetime. Consider joining this support team at www.churchhurtsand.org.

    • 33 min
    Deep Pain with Dr.Mark Talbot

    Deep Pain with Dr.Mark Talbot

    Ever faced pain? I mean real pain, deep pain, defining pain? Stay tuned as we look today at “Deep Pain with Dr. Mark Talbot” author of “When the Stars Disappear”.


    Church Hurts And is a listener-supported podcast. Go to ChurchHurtsAnd.org and click on the DONATE button to become part of our support team. 


    There was one wooded winding road at the bottom of a hill right at the midpoint of my 20-minute jaunt to Jim’s house. It seemed like a long way in my early teens, traversing the way only teens can do, unabashedly combining quick sprints, slow jogs, periodic skipping, and rarely a normal walking gait. Somehow this hollow at the bottom of the hill at the end of Murdstone Road seemed special, the terrain prohibiting the constant suburban sprawl for a few hundred yards as the woods grew wild. By this point in my journey, I was ready for some deeper reflection, a safe distance from the place of my fear called home. Few would have guessed the content of the conversation I permitted myself to speak out loud in this private hollow. Almost always it was filled with prayerful questions reflecting confusion about the pain and fear I lived in on Murdstone Road, one of the least safe places I ever have experienced in life.


    I asked God to do things on that stretch of road I would never have done in public. “Please God, just lift me up and transport me ten feet so I can know you really exist.” I’d close my eyes as I continued walking, waiting to feel the lift, and then laughing at my own silliness. I knew God didn’t play those games, but I thought it would be nice and surely strengthen my faith in the midst of the pain nightmare I called home.


    Pain comes in a lot of forms. We could begin putting adjectives in front of the noun and be here all day, or we could turn it into an adjective and talk about all of the painful people, experiences, churches, muscles, thoughts…you get the idea.


    So today we turn for help to an unusual place. A real philosopher of all things.   


    Let’s welcome Dr. Mark Talbot to Church Hurts And.


    Dr. Mark Talbot encourages support of www.christianscholarsfund.org.


    Dr. John Bash is a shepherd with Standing Stone, a ministry that ministers to ministers, a need as important in this time as any in our lifetime. Consider joining this support team at www.churchhurtsand.org.


     

    • 36 min
    Forgiving the Nightmare with Mark Sowersby

    Forgiving the Nightmare with Mark Sowersby

    Church Hurts And is a listener-supported podcast. Go to ChurchHurtsAnd.org to click on the DONATE button and become part of our support team.


    Have you ever had something happen to you which has haunted you for your entire life? 


    Forgiving the Nightmare with Mark Sowersby


    “I really don’t like Bob. He’s rather arrogant and aloof I think.”


    “Oh, he’s not that bad if you get to know him.”


    “Well, who would want to get to him? He’s a jerk.”


    “Well, he’s been through a lot in life. Give him a break.”


    Who among us has not had a conversation like this? I heard it so often when I was younger I got sick of it, but it got me thinking. What is it about people who manifest unattractive relational skills which drive people away, but whom underneath can be really nice people? And since I don’t have the time to get to know everybody, what should I learn about how I should behave?


    Now that could be a book, but let me jump to the conclusion. Every person you meet has a story. Part of that story will probably include some very vulnerable life-changing events or relationships which made an indelible imprint upon them. I am not talking about the kind of things that come up in a two-minute cocktail party introduction. “Hi. My name is John and I had an evil stepmother who defined my childhood. How are you?” That isn’t how it works, is it?


    But then there are those rare moments, those times in life when another opens up to you in a moment of vulnerability. They wouldn’t be doing this if a certain amount of trust hadn’t already been built. And then it comes. You hear a bit of their nightmare. Everything changes. They wonder if you will run away, ask more questions, or be frozen by the reality of it all.


    Today we have someone with a real nightmare and the courage to bring it into the light. He’s even discovered some life principles which others have used to get them through their own nightmares. Let’s welcome Pastor Mark Sowersby to Church Hurts And.


    For more about Mark: https://www.forgivingthenightmare.com


    John Bash is a shepherd with Standing Stone, a ministry that ministers to ministers, a need as important in this time as any in our lifetime. Consider joining this support team at www.churchhurtsand.org.

    • 34 min
    Romantic Theology Today with Dr. Michael J. Christensen

    Romantic Theology Today with Dr. Michael J. Christensen

    If you benefit from this radio show/podcast and would like to support the ongoing efforts of this ministry, you can do so by visiting https://churchhurtsand.org.  Donations are tax-deductible, needed, and appreciated more than you know.


    Have you ever heard of Romantic Theology? Sounds good, doesn’t it? Let’s find out more with Dr. Michael J. Christensen.


    After becoming a Christian at the age of 13, I developed some habits and behaviors which could have been considered prudish, ironically quite contrary to my generally outgoing personality. Not committing adultery or fornication before marriage became my obsession for over a decade, carefully studying the meaning of the word, along with fornication, the way other teens might have devoured those certain National Geographics or hard to come by Playboys. How was a Christian adolescent survive a normal increase in testosterone which felt more like an abnormal bomb going off in my body?


    “Be careful of those things which could naturally lead to inappropriate sexual intimacy in your relationships with girls,” I heard from Rev. Bob Letzinger during a mid-winter conference at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Pittsburgh. Amazingly he confessed to having a climax the first time he ever held hands with a girl. His talk was famous, and we knew it was coming, but did he really say that? And he kept going, warning about the hugs which lasted too long, the times alone without accountability, the dates which lasted too late into the night.


    As if all of that wasn’t enough, my very best friend sitting next to me (who currently holds a very prestigious position as a professor of theology at a premier evangelical seminary) looked over at me and noticed the mark on my neck. He looked like he had seen a snake as his face turned red and his hands started to shake. Quietly and accusingly he pointed at it, trying not to be obvious as the speaker continued, “That’s a hickey,” he said with wide eyes.


    I hadn’t known about hickeys until the previous evening with my long-term high school girlfriend, Kathy. You remember those days, your first love, the power of attraction, the depth of longing. Could that tell us anything about God and the Church?


    Let’s ask Dr. Michael J. Christensen. professor of theology at Northwind Seminary.


    For more about Michael Christensen, visit https://www.northwindseminary.org. 


     


     

    • 36 min

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