The Spiritual Brewpub
Wendy Francisco on Being a Love Heretic

Wendy Francisco on Being a Love Heretic

May 16, 2020

One of the things I love to do is interview really interesting people who have fascinating stories. In this episode, I have a very special guest to interview, Wendy Francisco, a musician, writer, editor, animal-lover, mother, and self-described love heretic who was part of the 1970s and 80s Jesus Movement. She is married to Don Francisco another popular musician from that era. She once had a website called "Mythbusters" that debunked some of the common myths associated with conservative Christianity. Today, she shares stories about deconstructing out of evangelical Christianity and finding a beautiful faith expression absent an abusive theology.

You can find Wendy's provocative and awe-inspiring Love Heretic Facebook community at Love Heretic. To learn more about me, Michael Camp, the host of the podcast, and my books and journey, visit www.spiritualbrewpub.com.

The Spiritual Brewpub: We give people the historical/scholarly/experiential resources they need to come to terms with a fundamentalist/evangelical past and find a truly inclusive and love-affirming path forward. 

Julie Ferwerda on the Doctrine of Hell Under Fire

Julie Ferwerda on the Doctrine of Hell Under Fire

May 2, 2020

Julie Ferwerda joins Michael for a fascinating conversation on what starts a person's journey to question hell, what stages people go through to finally reject it, and how one's life is changed for the better as a result. Julie shares what led her to see the emotional, logical, biblical, historical, and Jewish cultural evidence that debunks hell and how she was set free from fear-based faith and began to love people naturally. 

She also gives advice to people who are questioning hell or other beliefs, whether secretly or publicly. How does one get through stages of deconstruction? Hear from Julie on that question and more--and her plans for her next book on "the problem of evil." Grab your favorite brew and join us! 

Learn more about Julie and her book, "Raising Hell: Christianity's most controversial doctrine put under fire" at RaisingHellBook.com. To learn more about me, Michael Camp, the host of the podcast, and my books and journey, visit www.spiritualbrewpub.com.

Julie Anne Smith on Spiritual Abuse in the Church

Julie Anne Smith on Spiritual Abuse in the Church

May 2, 2019

Sued by her pastor! Tactics of spiritual abusers. How women are most vulnerable. Julie Anne Smith shares with Michael how she got slapped with a $500,000 lawsuit, uncovered abuse in her church and among evangelicals, and how patriarchal theology harms women. Hear this lively conversation as they discuss the prevalence and roots of spiritual abuse, including:

  • Tactics and teachings that cause religious abuse
  • How women are especially harmed
  • Examples of church abuse in Sovereign Grace Ministries, Pastor Mark Driscoll, Bill Gothard, Promise Keepers, the Quiverfull movement, and conservative evangelical churches
  • Narcissists and control freaks in the church
  • How it fuels faith shifts and non-belief
  • Exposing legalistic teachings and helping victims
  • Finding solace and healing from spiritual abuse
  • How historical study helps you rethink traditional views of the Bible
  • Julie Anne’s safe haven for exposing abuse and healing: The Spiritual Sounding Board

Learn about Michael's journey at: www.spiritualbrewpub.com  

Kathy Escobar on “Faith Shift: Finding your way forward when everything you believe is coming apart”

Kathy Escobar on “Faith Shift: Finding your way forward when everything you believe is coming apart”

March 17, 2019

If you have experienced an evolution in your faith, whether you're going through a faith shift now, or went through one in the past, this interview will encourage you. It will help you learn why you’re not crazy, what stages you go through, and how to come to terms with your change. You are not alone! 

Kathy has really hit on something in her book by the same title of this podcast. This topic is important because today in America, Christianity and spirituality are going through a radical faith shift. People are questioning religious doctrines and practices, rethinking their faith, and leaving the church in droves. The Christian Post cited a study done in 2014, that says 3,500 people leave church per day, 1.2 million a year. Even though some churches still thrive, more and more are becoming revolving doors. 

Particularly if they come out of fundamentalist and evangelical churches, people face fierce opposition from those inside and often struggle to adjust and find a new, more inclusive way. If you feel like a spiritual refugee, a church burnout, or a freedom seeker, this podcast is for you! 

Also visit www.spiritualbrewpub.com to learn more. 

Michael Hardin on Rene Girard, Mimetic Theory, Unraveling the Bible, Unconditional Peace, Prison Reform, and Today’s Political Rivalries

Michael Hardin on Rene Girard, Mimetic Theory, Unraveling the Bible, Unconditional Peace, Prison Reform, and Today’s Political Rivalries

March 6, 2019

Author, speaker, and biblical/historical scholar Michael Hardin joins Michael over some virtual craft brews for a lively conversation about the late Rene Girard, a former Stanford professor who is considered “the Darwin of the social sciences.

Hardin explains Girard’s Mimetic Theory and how it is displayed in ancient literature and the Bible. Drawing on his book, Mimetic Theory and Biblical Interpretation, he explains why we see violent and restorative narratives in the Bible often side by side—the former being mythical, violent sacrificial religion and the latter being the first glimpses of the revelation of true grace that culminates in Jesus.

Join the two Michaels as they talk about how to unravel the Bible, the evangelical two-faced God, and Girard’s and Jesus’ call to abandon societal violence and war and extend unconditional peace. Learn how Mimetic Theory plays out in modern society and politics and how these historical ways of looking at revelation can lead to social progress, such as prison reform.

Learn more at Hardin's Preaching Peace website. 

The Bible—A Record of Humanity’s Moral Development: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Bible—A Record of Humanity’s Moral Development: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

February 24, 2019

Coming out of evangelicalism years ago, I always struggled with how to reconcile parts of the Bible. When I started to study history, however, there were several mysteries I solved about the Bible that totally blew me away and helped me finally make sense of most of it. I’m going to share those with you on today’s podcast.

Buckle your seat belts and let’s take a ride together off the mythological Bible Belt Interstate and onto the road-less-traveled historic Bible Byway.

What You Will Learn: 

  • Why the Bible can't be inerrant and an altogether true record of history and God's character
  • Why the Bible should not, however, be viewed as irrelevant for today
  • How the Bible is a collection of dissenting views on the character of God and human morality
  • The ways the Bible critiques itself, e.g. in the sacrificial system and violent retribution narratives
  • The stark contrast in the Bible's narrative of violent sacrificial religion vs. social justice of the prophets and the non-violent love ethic of Jesus and Paul
  • How the Bible can be viewed as a record of humanity's record of moral development
  • What narratives rise to the top that will help our global community overcome conflict, violence, war, and harmful fundamentalist religion

Also, Michael shares plans and hopes of forthcoming interviews. Grab a brew and enjoy responsibly! Be sure to ask questions and make comments, pro or con, at www.spiritualbrewpub.com.

Barbara Symons on How She Escaped Christianity and Found Christ

Barbara Symons on How She Escaped Christianity and Found Christ

January 14, 2019

Author of "Escaping Christianity-Finding Christ," Barbara Symons joins Michael for a lively conversation on her journey out of evangelical/charismatic/fundamentalist Christianity into a mystic awareness of Jesus. Learn how she was indoctrinated over decades into a "schizophrenic Christianity" and ultimately went through a sometimes painful, but an incredibly freeing deprogramming process. 

Barbara and Michael discuss her largely experiential breakthroughs that led her to expose and overcome the cognitive dissonance within the modern conservative Christian movement and how her experiences dovetail with and validate Michael's largely historical studies on Christianity. 

Hear how Barbara came to recognize the Spirit behind her past experiences is cross cultural and not limited to one religious sect. She shares how she uncovered and discovered the metaphorical messages in scripture and how they advanced her understanding of Spiritual truth as it pertains to who we are, why we are here, and where we are going. Barbara helps us "embrace the Divine" outside debilitating and abusive religious systems. 

Visit www.barbarasymons.com to learn more. 

12 Fake Claims or Scams of Western Christianity - Part 2

12 Fake Claims or Scams of Western Christianity - Part 2

January 6, 2019

What if we turned the concept of "fake news" on politics to examining fake claims about religion? What would we discover? 

We'd find the DNA of ancient Christianity (i.e., Jesus’ teaching and peace movement) has suffered grave mutations that the Western Reformation never completely corrected, and in some cases, made worse. How can we know this? Through careful historical, biblical, and linguistic study. And how can the Jesus of history be authentic and much of this religion called Christianity be a scam? By an historical sleight of hand.

In this episode (Part 2), we discuss the remaining 7-12 major fake claims or scams that have been fostered by Western Christianity and ignorant or unsuspecting adherents about popular views of the meaning of the cross, the end times, women in the church, morality for the LGBT community, spiritual exchange, and justifying violence and war. (For fake claims #1-6, see Part 1). 

Authors cited or quoted include, James Bernstein, Mark Heim, Marcus Borg, N.T. Wright, Josephus (first century), Ann Nyland, Jacque Ellul, Michael Hardin, Rene Girard, and Robin Meyers. 

Interview Announcement: Michael announces the next episode will be an interview of Barbara Symons! Barbara is the author of "Escaping Christianity - Finding Christ" and has a lot of overlap with Michael on many experiences coming out of fundamentalism/evangelicalism. 

12 Fake Claims or Scams of Western Christianity - Part 1

12 Fake Claims or Scams of Western Christianity - Part 1

November 4, 2018

What if we turned the concept of "fake news" on politics to examining fake claims about religion? What would we discover? 

We'd find the DNA of ancient Christianity (i.e., Jesus’ teaching and peace movement) has suffered grave mutations that the Western Reformation never completely corrected, and in some cases, made worse. How can we know this? Through careful historical, biblical, and linguistic study. And how can the Jesus of history be authentic and much of this religion called Christianity be a scam? By an historical sleight of hand.

In this episode, we discuss 12 major fake claims or scams that have been fostered by Western Christianity and ignorant adherents about popular views of the Bible, church, salvation, the cross, women, God’s character, the afterlife, the end times, sexuality, and war.

Learn more how The Spiritual Brewpub can help you at: www.spiritualbrewpub.com

Contrasting the Original Jesus Movement with Christianity

Contrasting the Original Jesus Movement with Christianity

August 5, 2018

Welcome to The Spiritual Brewpub Podcast, a safe haven for ex-evangelicals or anyone restless about their faith or religion in general. In Episode 2, the topic is: Contrasting the Original Jesus Movement with Christianity - or The Difference Between Jesus and Christianity. 

How it will help you: This episode will help you understand logical reasons you may have rejected evangelicalism, fundamentalism, church, and/or parts of the Bible, even though you still see the wisdom of Jesus. It will give you ideas on how to reconcile it all. Understand how the positive things you saw/see in Jesus got you into a religious system that turned out to be abusive. Then learn to differentiate the historical Jesus movement from the corruption found in modern religion and many churches so you can decide how to reconstruct or come to terms with your faith and experience. 

Bonus Blurb: Learn the pitfalls of religion by hearing the "10 Reasons Beer is Better than Religion.

Quote of the Week: The quote comes from Garry Wills, Author of "What Jesus Meant." A critic of both evangelicalism and some liberal streams of religion, Garry helps us avoid religioius traps and focus on what matters most. 

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