Everyone's Agnostic Podcast (christianity)
Cass & Bob interview people you don't know about a subject no one wants to talk about--losing faith in the supernatural.
Episode 107 Dave Warnock

Cass and Bob interview Dave Warnock, an ex-Christian pastor whom Cass met through The Clergy Project and lives here in middle Tennessee. Week after week on this podcast we talk with people about the two-fold hardships of deconverting—personal and relational or internal and external. Everything changes in our own hearts and minds and that is a difficult process. And outwardly, people react differently to our newfound loss of faith. Some family members and friends, while not agreeing with our changed worldview, are able to love us and maintain healthy relationships even though they may be disappointed in or confused by our changes.  Others, however, may react by dissociating from us; or shunning us. This oftentimes is a defense mechanism- as they don’t know what to make of our loss of faith, and “pull back” as a way of coping. Some see this as a punitive or corrective measure and believe that by withholding relationship, the apostate will repent and return to God. They don’t seem to have the capacity in their spiritual framework to understand that we aren’t running from God or mad at God…we just don’t think he is there anymore; and thus we have nothing to repent of; or anyone to return to. Thus, all we can do in those cases is try to manage the pain of broken familial relationships and wait for it to get better as we get on with our new lives.

This is what Dave has done. Even though the loss of relationship with his adult daughters and his grandchildren is a daily pain, he has found a way to forge a new path that has given him meaning; and he continues to look for ways to re-write the story of his life. His work in Central America in secular missions is one of the things that has helped him do that; as well as daily connections with others who have left the faith and need support and encouragement.

Some people realize the importance of love and keep their priorities straight; others choose their allegiance to their religious guidelines over their loyalty to their unbelieving friend or family-member. I’ve said on the show before that I don’t like tough love or shaming techniques to influence people. Here we have a case where believer’s treatment of the deconverted loved ones due to their pastor’s advice bears a resemblance to cultic behavior:  

Five attributes of cults ring true here:
1. Cult members typically swear total allegiance to an all-powerful leader to whom they cede too much power.
2. In a cult, rational thought is discouraged or forbidden.
3. A cult weakens its follower psychologically such that they look the group to solve their problems.
4. The cult leader makes life decision of the members.
5. Cult members are isolated from the outside world and any reality testing it could provide.

Dave agreed to come on this podcast partly because he hopes by talking openly about this kind of brainwashing, people’s skepticism regarding charismatic church leaders will increase and fewer people will fall into this trap.

We taped this episode on June 11th, 2016. If you’re liking our show, please subscribe to it, give it 5 stars, and/or leave a review on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Also, you can support us monetarily on a per episode basis through our Patreon page. That’s patreon.com/eapodcast. Or leave a donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com.

Credits:
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson
Other bumper music is Sam Maher, New York Subway Hand Pan player

Thanks for listening and be a yes-sayer to what is.

Dave’s blog called nevercertain

The Clergy Project

Dave’s appearance at Grace Point Church

 

 

 

Direct download: Ep_107_Dave_Warnock.mp3
Category:christianity -- posted at: 2:54pm CDT
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Episode 99 Rev. Brian Quincy Newcomb

Welcome everyone to episode 99 of the Everyone’s Agnostic podcast, I’m Cass Midgley. Today, I bring you a special episode where I’m going to briefly focus on music as a voice that both called me to stay Christian and called me out, and my guest today symbolizes that tension.

Some of my favorite Christian music artists were Edin-Adahl, Sweet Comfort Band, Allies, The Front, David & the Giants, Russ Taff, Charlie Peacock, the 77s, Jimmy Abegg, Mark Heard, Dave Perkins, Jon Gibson, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Switchfoot, and Adam Again.  I collected over 800 Christian music cassettes and CDs between the early 80s and late 90s. I was the music buyer at a Christian bookstore and I was a sales rep for StarSong. Early on I decided to ban secular music from my life. Part of what keeps one convinced that they’re in the right is by surrounding one’s self with music that only confirms one’s beliefs.  How could all these songs be written about something that’s not true? And yet, in the outside world, there were even more songs and musicians who felt no need to write religious songs.

One of the hats my guest today wears is that of a music critic. He wrote close to 900 articles in Christian music publications between 1982 and 1999. That’s over one articles a week for 17 years and those same years coincide with my infatuation with Christianity. And if you trace those articles chronologically, he little by little, started reviewing secular music more and more, which gave me permission to lift my ban on it and listen outside the Christian sub-culture.

The other thing I think this episode points out is that there are some smart Christians out there who, maybe in the vein of John Shelby Spong, or Marcus Borg, or Paul Tillich, have figured out a way to shape their Christian narrative into a redemptive work and practice that makes the world a better place. They have salvaged, at least for themselves and a few others, that which claimed to be salvation.  They’ve made craft beer out of barley and hops and it has enhanced the lived experience of those in their wake. 

Reverend Brian Quincy Newcomb has served as pastor in the United Church of Christ for over 30 years. We talk about the evolution of his faith from childhood to present day. I picture him as a master craftsman that started whittling away at a solid tree trunk 40+ years ago and today it is a sculpture of a giant black bear with her cub in her mouth, a fish in one hand, and crossing a roaring river. We talk about the formation of his faith, through deconstruction and reconstruction, and his struggle with kidney cancer. And at the end, some friends offer a few words about Brian’s impact on their lives. 

We taped this talk May 7th, 2016. Subscribe, rate us, and/or leave a review of our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Also, you can support through our Patreon page.

Credits:
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson

Thanks for listening and be a yes-sayer to what is.

Link to Brian’s bio on the church website

Some of Brian’s reviews on The Fire Note

Peter Enn’s book: “The Sin of Certainty”

Seth Godin’s Amazon book page

Rene Girard interview

 

 

 

Direct download: Ep99_Brian_Q_Newcomb.mp3
Category:christianity -- posted at: 5:30pm CDT
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Episode 98 Elizabeth of England

Cass and Bob interview Elizabeth from England. She’s a young mother who played keyboards in her church’s worship team with her brother and loved it. She describes her deconversion as a sink hole that was rotting away under the surface for years until one day, it all came crumbing down…but instead of it being a bad thing, it felt right…at last. Now her life is grounded in her marriage, raising their children, and being engaged with friends and family.

We taped this talk May 1st, 2016. Subscribe, rate us, and/or leave a review of our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Also, you can support through our Patreon page.

Credits:
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson

Thanks for listening and be a yes-sayer to what is.

Derren Brown the Illusionist’s Youtube channel

Direct download: Ep98_Elizabeth.mp3
Category:christianity -- posted at: 2:15pm CDT
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Episode 93 April

Cass & Bob interview April. She’s not fully “out” so we don’t use her last name or photo. April’s story is about the tragic affect of a literal Hell.  A large portion of Christians read the scriptures literally. And today’s show highlights the dangers of doing so and the damage that is done by those unable or unwilling to approach the text with metaphorically. April was traumatized by the concept of a literal Hell well into her adult years. This is the appropriate reaction by genuinely empathetic people. A strong belief in Hell will eventually rob you of your soul, leaving a shell of a heartless zombie who has no choice but to subconsciously devalue lost people just to maintain the illusion that you’re a decent human being and that your God is not a monster. It has done immeasurable damage to every society it’s ever touched.

We taped this talk on March 21st, 2016. Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn  and most podcast platforms.  If you’re feeling grateful for our podcast, Patreon.com is like a per episode tip jar for our work. 

Credits:
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack JohnsonThe segue music on this episode is Duke’s Lullaby by Steve Gadd

Thanks for listening and be a yes-sayer to what is.

April’s blog: https://leavingcanaan.wordpress.com/

April’s paintings: https://www.etsy.com/shop/warmdecember

Direct download: ep_93_April.mp3
Category:christianity -- posted at: 6:11pm CDT
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Episode 85 Hunter McFarlin

Cass interviews his friend of 25 years, Hunter McFarlin.  They met in a prayer meeting at Belmont Church in Nashville around 1991. Today we witness the enormous theological cavern that can form between two people in that span of time. Cass is an atheist, but when Hunter and he met, they were both passionate Christians. Hunter still is. 

 

In this interview, you’re going to hear Hunter’s dogged faith in the Bible and everything in it being confirmed by the revelations of science, his unfazed belief that resurrections happen, his opinion that the problems of the world are due to the fact that not enough people are Christian, or at least are living out the power and inheritance that Jesus’ provides to true believers.

 

One take-away that I think some might gain from this conversation is two-fold and perhaps seemingly contradictory: If you have a perspective that all Christians must be, by default, be stupid because of the absurdity of their beliefs, Hunter would be an exception to that. He’s a highly intelligent man and has given a lot of thought over the years to the formation of his beliefs. He’s also pursued emotional health more aggressively than most Americans. That said, you may find that these facts make his beliefs and/or his self-awareness even more confounding given the audacity of his claims and imaginations. 

Also, as a warning, Hunter refers to homosexual people as sexually mis-oriented. Keep in mind that people like Hunter mean well when they think they’re being honest and even helpful by helping homosexuals get their sexual compasses corrected.

The conversation with Hunter is an hour and 12 minutes, followed by a reflection with Bob and Cass that lasts about 52 minutes and includes some audio comments by Gretta Vosper, the United Church of Canada minister who is now atheist. Then Cass reads some comments by Jaron Hudgins, who was home-schooled, raised conservative Christian,and is now an atheist practicing law in Austin Tx. Also included is an excerpt by comedian Todd Green on growing up gay and in the closet.

We taped this talk on Feb 6th, 2016. Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn and most podcast platforms.  If you’re feeling grateful for our podcast, Patreon.com is like a per episode tip jar for our work.

Credits:
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson
The segue music on this episode is Duke’s Lullaby by Steve Gadd 

Thanks for listening and be a yes-sayer to what is.

Link to Hunter’s claim that “7 Nobel winning Physicists support Intelligent Design”

Roger Scruton’s quote from Gretta Vosper

Comedian Todd Glass on the Bullseye podcast

Nobel Laureates supporting ID? http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/seven-nobel-laureates-in-science-who-either-supported-intelligent-design-or-attacked-darwinian-evolution/

The fastest growing demographic in America are those unaffiliated with organized religion: http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/

 

Direct download: Episode_85_Hunter_McFarlin.mp3
Category:christianity -- posted at: 12:22am CDT
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