028 | Shame, Guilt, and Condemnation

Welcome to episode 28 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. Join Susan and me in a conversation about shame and shaming others. The gospel itself rests on a foundation of no shame. Paul said,

“Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” -Romans 5:5

He went on to say,

“…as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” Romans 9:33

Peter joins the conversation when he says,

“For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” 1 Peter 2:6

All of these verses speak to the fact that shame has no place in the gospel. But we use shame as a tool to manipulate others into doing what we want them to do through false guilt. Religious institutions use shame as external motivation to behavior modification and compliance to external rules. The list goes on and on, so let’s talk about it.

027 | Getting to a Place of Honesty With God

Welcome to episode 27 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. This episode is one of our favorites from our old Known & Loved Podcast that was recorded in May, 2017. We were joined by Chris Stapleton and Josh Scott of the Simple Gospel Podcast, who spent a few days visiting us in sunny Arizona. While they were here, we fired up the podcast machine and recorded this conversation.

Our conversation was centered around an email we had received from a listener who asked us if we ever get angry with God and how we deal with that anger. In working through our answer, we talked about the importance of getting to a place of honesty with God and being honest with him in all of our emotions. God loves you. He loves the angry you, the anxious you, the selfish you, the happy you, the sad you, and the self-centered you. He loves you. He loves the true you in all of your messiness. Instead of trying to hide our true selves from him and pretending we’re something we’re not, what if we come to a place of honesty with God and just be who we are, knowing we’re fully accepted just as we are, without pretense?

Let’s talk about it.

026 | The Law Functioned as a Temporary Placeholder

Welcome to episode 26 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. Let’s take a closer look at Galatians and the temporary nature of the Law of Moses. Paul wrote in Galatians 3 that the Law was put in charge to lead us to Christ. Is the common interpretation, that the Law functions in our lives to bring us to faith in Christ, what he meant? A second look at the context may bring us to a different conclusion.

What if Paul wasn’t talking about the Law functioning in such a way as to bring us to personal, individual faith at all? What if he was making a historical reference to Old Covenant Israel as those under the guardianship of the Law until Christ came, introducing a better covenant? What if the Law functioned as a temporary placeholder that was historically time bound? Let’s talk about it.

Enjoy!

025 | The Law is Opposed to Rest

Let’s talk about the good things law steals from us, not the least of which is the ability to rest and enjoy the secure relationship we have in Jesus. Law pushes us on to always be doing more and the doing is never finished. Religion requires us to jump through hoops to be pleasing to God, but God tells us the striving is over and we can rest.

In this episode 25 of The Grace Cafe Podcast, we continue our conversation about the 10 Commandments, law, and grace, and the good things law won’t let us enjoy, including our friendships and relationships with others. Pull up a chair and your favorite beverage and join us as we explore the many ways law is opposed to rest.

Enjoy!

024 | The Toxicity of the Law

We’re back!!! In this episode of The Grace Cafe, you’ll hear about what’s kept us away – our house flood of 2018. Our podcast room has been packed away while house repairs were underway, keeping us from podcasting and a lot of other things we like to do. But that’s behind us now and we’re back at it.

Join our conversation as we talk about the 10 Commandments, the Old Covenant Law of Moses, and the toxic byproducts of thinking we have to keep that law. When we hear about the Law, our minds usually race to the 10 Commandments, but the Law is much bigger than those 10 words. The Law encompasses 613 commands and the 10 Commandments are merely a summary statement and representation of the Law on its entirety.

Are the 10 Commandments binding on the conscience of a believer today? Are we to be pursuing obedience to the 10 Commandments or is the Holy Spirit doing something different in our lives today? The book of Exodus in the Old Testament calls the 10 Commandments the words of the Covenant, meaning the 10 Commandments belong to the Old Covenant, not the New Covenant. They are not a stand-alone document for every age. Let’s talk about it. This episode is the first of several dealing with this subject.

Enjoy!

023 | Forgiven!

Welcome to the Grace Cafe Podcast. We begin this episode by interacting with a letter we received from a long-time listener who shared with us her struggles with reading Scripture. These struggles stem from viewing the Bible through the legalistic lens she was taught to use years ago, prior to her own grace awakening. She mentions, “I’m thinking that taking a break from reading the Bible might be needed to give myself time for God to replace my old mindset with the freedom I have in Christ.”

As we interact with her letter, we talk about our own struggles in that area, which seem to be commonplace to varying degrees with those of us who’ve transitioned from some form of legalism into a gospel-centered life. A necessary part of that transition can be to lay aside our Bible reading for a season while our hearts are re-tooled by the Holy Spirit to see God as the kind Father he really is instead of the harsh task master of legalism. God doesn’t panic or think less of us during those seasons. Legalists will use false guilt tactics as we experience more and more freedom in Jesus to be who we really are. One writer called the church God’s gymnasium for spiritual fitness via “spiritual disciplines”, meaning we need Jesus less and less. But Jesus said we would know the truth and the truth would set us free. If the version of truth that we’re hearing from those reciting Scripture to us, isn’t setting us free, it isn’t Jesus.

We also talk about forgiveness in this episode. Did you know that while the New Testament does encourage us to forgive one another, asking for forgiveness is nowhere in the New Testament? One problem with asking for forgiveness is that it puts the burden of forgiving on the one who was hurt. Even if the one asking seems insincere and simply going through the motions, the one who was hurt may be pressured by a false sense of obligation to immediately forgive and is viewed as insincere themselves if they are not yet in a place to do that. Let’s talk about it.

What about trials and suffering? Is God trying to teach me something when I go through a trial or suffer loss? Is it up to me to find out what he’s trying to teach me in my suffering? We don’t think so. We think that that is a horribly wrong view of God that we get from our theological traditions. Was God trying to teach Paul something as he was being beheaded? Was he trying to get through to Peter as he was being crucified upside down? Was God trying to teach Jesus something as he was dying on the cross? We don’t think so. Let’s talk about it.

-Enjoy!

022 | On The Road

Welcome to episode 22 of The Grace Cafe! We recorded this episode from Spokane Washington USA as we were preparing for the final leg of a cross-country road trip that took us through 20 states in 29 days, logging over 7,000 miles. This episode is a look back at our trip and a recap of some of the conversations we had along the way. Some of the topics we covered include:

  • Does God still visit a father’s sins on subsequent generations or have our sins been done away with once for all?
  • The importance of disconnecting the Old Covenant from the New in how we understand Scripture.
  • Does the Holy Spirit treat us like convicts or does He remind us of who we are in Jesus?
  • Some implications of the Holy Spirit living in you.
  • Loving well flourishes where Jesus plus nothing is a reality.
  • Christ’s church is expressed in so many valid ways. It’s diverse and so much bigger than we think it is. The goal isn’t sameness.
  • How “always reforming” has led us out of Reformed thinking.
  • The simple faith of Mister Rogers.
  • The gift of our true selves and giving yourself permission to be authentic.
  • The noisy distractions of life.
  • Two introverts with a podcast. Hey wait, that’s us!
  • The negative experiences of a crash and burn.

-Enjoy!

021 | Unforced Rhythms of Grace

Welcome to episode 21 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. This is the second of two episodes we recorded during our recent stay in Chattanooga Tennessee. Our friends, Chris Stapleton and Josh Scott from The Simple Gospel Podcast joined us again for this conversation, recorded in our Chattanooga loft. We were also thrilled to be joined by Chris’ parents, Rick and Sharon Stapleton. We’ve been wanting to get them on our podcast for quite some time and it finally came together.

In The Message Bible, Matthew 11:28-30 reads,

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Our conversation was centered around our own experiences with those “unforced rhythms of grace” as we shared life stories and  experiences. For Susan and me, our 7-day stay in Chattanooga was a warm example of unforced rhythms of grace as the common bond we shared was both instant and unforced. We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did.

-Mike