037 | Our Journey Out Of Institutional Religion

Welcome to episode 37 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. About 2 years ago, Susan and I had a conversation about our trek out of organized religion. That conversation was episode 5 of Mike’s old Ekklesia Podcast. The Ekklesia Podcast was a venue where Mike fleshed out some of his thoughts about organized, institutional religion and our involvement in it. Ekklesia is the Greek word translated “church” in our New Testaments and Mike used the Ekklesia Podcast as an ongoing conversation about the differences between the ekklesia Jesus is building and many of the institutional churches we build.

We hope you enjoy this episode. we would love to hear from you! If you get a chance, be sure to leave us a review in iTunes or on the Apple Podcast App.


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036 | Losing Our Identity Only To Find It Again: A Conversation With Greg McInturff

Welcome to the Grace Cafe! This episode is a conversation between Mike and our good friend Greg McInturff. It’s a longer episode than what we usually post. I considered making it into two separate episodes but decided to leave it as one to preserve the continuity of our discussion. We’ve known Greg and his wife Kim for 20+ years. We lost touch with them years ago and were recently reunited only to find out we had been on the same grace journey. Our conversations are always energizing and we invite you to eaves drop on this one and be encouraged.

We talked about so many topics in this episode it’s hard to catalog them all. But here’s a few:

  • Spiritual burnout
  • Institutional Christianity
  • Our true identity
  • Experiencing Jesus
  • What it means to be righteous
  • Religious tradition and obligation
  • Fixing your eyes on Jesus
  • Confessing sin
  • Our expectations of ourselves
  • The Holy Spirit in you
  • And a lot more…


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035 | The Increased Frequency of Spiritual Abuse

“Spiritual abusers convince the spiritually abused that there’s no such thing as spiritual abuse.” -Mike Adams

Welcome to episode 35 of The Grace Cafe Podcast! We continue to hear from different people, detailing their stories and experiences with spiritual abuse. Spiritual abuse is real and if it hasn’t happened to you, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened to the person next to you. In spiritual abuse, some people get a free pass while others are singled out and preyed upon. We’ve seen this pattern over and over again.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Muzzling the spiritually abused.
  • Labeling those who are brave enough to share their story as gossips in order to silence them.
  • Top-down abusive authority within religious institutions.
  • Matthew 18 and church discipline.

Our previous episode of Susan’s story of counseling and therapy for spiritual abuse is here:

Susan’s blog by the same title is here:

Mike’s recent blog on submission to leaders in Hebrews 13 is here:

Other blogs Mike has written that we talked about in this episode:

Other blogs Mike has written related to this episode:


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034 | The Cross Worked: A Conversation with Zach Maldonado

Welcome to episode 34 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. This episode is a conversation between Mike and Zach Maldonado, centered around Zach’s book, The Cross Worked: Why You Can Have Confidence On The Day Of Judgment. Zach is the Communication’s Pastor at Church Without Religion in Lubbock Texas and is on staff at Andrew Farley Ministries.

Are you ready to hear the good news of the gospel afresh? Are you ready to be reminded that God isn’t disappointed in you? Are you ready to hear all over again that the Father has the same opinion of you that he has of Jesus? Are you ready to be reminded that Jesus plus nothing is all you need?Are you ready to be reminded that Jesus plus nothing is all you need? Are you ready to be reminded that there’s nothing wrong with you and you are righteous in Christ? Grab your favorite beverage, strap in and hold on.

Zach’s book is available everywhere but here’s a link to it on Amazon for your convenience:

You can reach out to Zach here:


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033 | Who Are You?

Welcome to episode 33 of The Grace Cafe Podcast! After about a six week hiatus, we’re back. October saw a lot of traveling for us and a few projects around the house that kept us from the microphones. In this episode we talk about one of our trips to Lubbock Texas for the God Without Religion conference with Andrew Farley. What an encouraging time!

This episode is all about our identity in Jesus. I entitled it Who Are You? because Susan and I talk about the assumptions and beliefs we tend not to question that keep us from knowing who we truly are in Jesus. Here’s a short list of subjects we take on:

  • Thinking a good Sunday message means we should feel bad or convicted of something when it’s over.
  • Striving to draw nearer to God when we’re already as near to him as possible.
  • The false notion of progressive sanctification vs. positional holiness.
  • Theological eggheads and turning the love of God into a doctrine to be mastered.
  • Misunderstanding Jesus’ references to salt and light.
  • Conformity to other’s expectations of you.
  • Headship, submission, authority, and roles.
  • The pitfalls of a patriarchal marriage and the harmful expectations it produces.

We would love to hear from you! There is a contact form on our website if you would like to reach out to us.


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032 | The Matrix Unloaded

Welcome to episode 32 of The Grace Cafe Podcast! In this episode we’re boldly going where we’ve never gone before as we talk about images of the gospel, grace, legalism, law, religion, church, spiritual abuse, religious bullying, and more, as seen in the 1999 hit movie, The Matrix. To pull this off, we interact with our friends from The Gospel Picture Show. The Matrix was the subject of The Gospel Picture Show’s first episode. We enjoyed it so much that we asked them if we could grab some soundbites from their podcast and interact with them here. We must have caught them at a weak moment because they said yes.

Josh, Chris, and Dan of The Gospel Picture Show are gifted in seeing gospel parallels in movies and draw them out. The tag line of their podcast is Spiritualizing the Heaven Out of Movies and they do it extremely well.

You can subscribe to The Gospel Picture Show on Apple Podcasts. Here’s a link that will get you there:



031 | Always Be Producing and Other Religious Myths

Welcome to episode 31 of the Grace Cafe Podcast! In this episode, we continue the conversation we started last time regarding some of the things we hear in religious settings that take away from or diminish who we really are in Jesus. The opinions of those in pulpits, small groups, or conversations in general can become authoritative in our lives and if those opinions infringe upon our identity in Jesus rather than reinforce it, it’s time to rethink and reevaluate what we’re hearing. If we hear something long enough or something repeated enough that at first seems a little off, we can start to think it must be true, especially if the person talking is someone we admire or look up to and everyone else in our church or group accepts it without question.

But if what we’re hearing dilutes grace, the gospel, and our identity in Jesus, it’s time to throw it out. We are bombarded with countless religious myths that give us a wrong view of God and are designed to serve the ongoing viability of organized religion or someone inside that setting. Let’s talk about it….

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030 | Denying Yourself and Other Religious Myths

Welcome to episode 30 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. This is the first of who-knows-how-many episodes dealing with things we’ve heard within organized religion that are accepted without question as true. Some of the things we hear may be true, but many are not and those can be devastating and destructive if accepted unquestionably as truth. In short, if it takes away from, diminishes, or alters your identity in Jesus and the freedom you have in him, question it.

Links referenced  in or related to this episode:

Should I Be Dying Daily? – Mike’s article from the Grace Cafe Blog.

What Does “Deny Yourself and Take Up Your Cross Mean? – Mike’s article from the Grace Cafe Blog.

I Don’t Know Why – The song Susan talked about.

Our “One-Way” Truck – Here’s a link to a photo of yours truly in front of our one room “Rabbit Hut” in Clear Lake Iowa in 1974 or 75. We drove across the country in that old truck to preach the gospel. We mention this in the podcast as we referenced the song above. Our dog Lazarus (we’re so spiritual!) is laying next to the truck.


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