For some, church is pretty simple. For others, it can be pretty complicated. So if faith and spirituality is a "heck yes" but church is a "hell no", welcome to Unchurchable - the place where we are able to participate in faith in our own way whether it is taking on taboo topics or exploring the unknown. After all, an examined faith is a strong one.
Meg Cowan - Recovering from purity culture and finding sexual freedom
The wonderful Meg Cowan has been on my list of interviewees for a while - a fellow Southern Hemisphere girl from across the ditch in New Zealand. Her work as a sex and intimacy coach has seen Meg in the long grass of helping purity culture survivors reclaim and heal their relationship with their bodies. This conversation was one we had a couple of goes at, and I promise you its worth a listen. It goes without saying that this episode carries a content warning. But don't all the good tings in life. Enjoy
Steven Denler - But what is sin, really?
I'm more than happy to admit it: I'll happily talk about a lot of things in the deconstruction space, but sin hasn't been one of them. Its been too big of a concept - too scary even. It's also a confusing one when you delve into it. If God is love, why are we all "born with a sin nature" that means we get dropped into a lake of fire for eternity unless we belief the right thing, say the magic words and never do wrong. Bit of a high bar wouldn't you say? Bit unloving maybe? Steven Denler, the man behind TAP Theology has been doing some serious work on this and I'm so glad he took a moment to stop by the pod and talk about it. I can tell you now: the sin means something completely different to me now. And somehow, God is kinder too. I'm down with that. Get ready for the most philosophically heavy chat I've had in a while. Enjoy!
Jordan White - Deconstructing towards social justice (and holding on to your hobbies while you do it)
This is one of those fortuitous internet meetings where you go "Hey! This person is interesting! I'm gunna interview them." Jordan White and I began talking on instagram about parenting post deconstruction when I realised this guy had managed to do something I had failed miserably at: he held on to music when he left church. To this day, a long time after leaving church, I find it too emotionally fraught to sit down at the piano and do what used to come so easily. I used to play, sing, compose and generally move the emotion that would otherwise stagnate and ulcerate. So I wanted to talk - how do you hold onto something that had been completely tied up with something you no longer identify with. As it turned out, the conversation spanned a whole lot more than this. I know you'll enjoy it.
Tia Levings - Self-Empowerment after Religious Trauma and Domestic Abuse
She married "the one God sent." Like so many of us, she did so without knowing fully what she was getting into. When the relationship became abusive, she sought help inside the church but what she found was advice tantamount to entrapping her in what she calls "church sanctioned domestic abuse. Sadly, Tia Levings story is unlikely to be the only one of its kind, but unlike so many others, Tia found the courage to get herself and her five kids out of that situation. Years on, she is thriving - in love, in life, and in parenthood beyond religious trauma and domestic abuse. Its a story of hope and Tia's gentle wisdom covers could indeed be life-saving. There is life after, and it is so worth pursuing.
Angry Church Kid - Everything is a Dick Joke
Now, I'm sure that's not a title you expected to read on a podcast for people who are navigating life post-church and deconstructing their faith. But can I point something out? Deconstruction is hard work. And it's not even like you get to choose whether or not to deconstruct. It seems to choose you! So finding the humour in the journey is vital to maintaining your place on the happy wagon while you also deal with grief, existential questions and all the overthinking that comes with deconstructing faith or making your way towards something like a new lens through which to view life, the universe and other things.
A friend of mine once told me that "the humour is part of the healing." And I'm 100% there with her on that. When I found Angry Church Kid on the gram, I loved her humour. Now that I've interviewed her, I love her fearlessness, her irreverence and her understanding of what it is to deconstruct out of church but not land quite at atheism. Enjoy this sweary, dick-jokey session!
Marc-Henri Sandoz Paradella - Dethroning Toxic Jesus and Finding Spiritual Healing
In Sunday school, kids learn about the golden calf - the moment the Hebrews banded behind Moses' brother Aaron and made a god of their own to worship while their leader was up on the mountain. It was the perhaps the first time in recorded history, but certainly not the last time that we would make a god in our own image. Today, in Evangelical churches across the world, we cherry pick and reinterpret scripture to make Jesus fit our needs. These incarnations, according to Marc-Henri Sandoz Paradella, are the Toxic Jesus's we need to remove from our lives if we are going to move from "holy shit" to spiritual healing. I loved this interview and the humble wisdom of the man who wrote the book. Enjoy!
A dive inside the greys
Cannot wait to keep listening to this podcast and how far is from what we are used to with faith, forget about the black and white its all about the greys