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faith guest post My Very Worst Day (series) Religious Recovery The Struggle With Church

Terminated by the Church: My Very Worst Day

“Besides, I shall perhaps obtain actual relief from writing. Today, for instance, I am particularly oppressed by one memory of a distant past. It came back vividly to my mind a few days ago, and has remained haunting me like an annoying tune that one cannot get rid of. And yet I must get rid […]

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#ConfessYourChurchMess faith Recovery Religious Recovery The Struggle With Church

Finding the Will to Forgive Spiritual Abuse

This is the final installment in the #ConfessYourChurchMess series. Follow the conversation on Twitter, and catch up on the other posts by clicking here. Forgiving Spiritual Abuse We’ve all seen the headlines. We’ve heard the horrible things done to people in the name of God. Some of you have lived those very ugly experiences. How […]

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Ask Steve Austin Best of Messy Grace Current Events faith Messy Grace Recovery Religious Recovery The Struggle With Church

Why Your Humanity Matters More than Your Christianity

In Episode 010 of the #AskSteveAustin Podcast, I tackle the idea that our humanity matters more than our religious labels.  More than any other episode, this one is all about messy grace. In conversation, people tend to struggle with the idea that I’m a former pastor. For them, the concept of former means I must […]

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Ask Steve Austin faith Recovery Religious Recovery The Struggle With Church

Surviving Church Hurts & Spiritual Abuse

Surviving church hurts and spiritual abuse is not easy. Where do you go when the church has been your whole life? How do you continue to engage with God after his “children” have treated you so poorly? When the very core of your identity has been called into question, where do you go from here? […]

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Current Events faith Messy Grace Recovery Religious Recovery The Struggle With Church

The Day Jesus Looked Just Like My Grandpa

I was at the end of my rope. It was my second year of ministry school and nothing was making sense. I had questions for a long time, but I’d only been asking them aloud for a few months. And each time I did, I was met with the frowns and upturned noses of those […]

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Best of Messy Grace faith Recovery Religious Recovery The Struggle With Church

It Really Sucks to be a Christian Right Now

I don’t like being a Christian today. Actually, I should say, I don’t like most Christians today. Wait. What I really mean is, I don’t want to fight with Christians anymore. I was once a youth pastor, a speaker, a worship leader, an avid blogger, and a radio host. Everything that entered my brain was […]

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Best of Messy Grace faith Messy Grace Recovery Religious Recovery The Struggle With Church

9 Ways to Know if You’re in an Oppressive Church

For many people I know, Christianity has been boiled down to morality. It has become a way to ensure you skip eternal damnation. It’s a list of do’s and don’ts, but there is no real freedom. Many Christians have traded the yoke of slavery for the yoke of religion, and both are dead.