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Category Archives for "Religious Recovery"

Jun 30

On Zombies, Trump, and Denying Jesus

By Steve Austin | Best of Messy Grace , Current Events , faith , Messy Grace , Millennials , Recovery , Religious Recovery , The Struggle With Church

Growing up in the Evangelical tradition, I was scared to death of denying Jesus. Countless times, I heard sermons preached on the end of the world. I grew up in the days of the Left Behind series, which was like our own personal Christian horror story. I was talking about the series with a friend recently, who said, “I feel like that series would make the perfect Christian drinking game.”
I was six when a book was published with 88 reasons Jesus was coming back in 1988. It didn’t happen, but I still heard the End of Time sermons around it. For at least the first twenty years of my life, I fully expected the trumpet to sound at any time and Jesus to come bursting through the clouds on a white horse, somewhere above Atlanta. That was about as far east as I could fathom. I imagined the end of the world looked something like a combination of the Holocaust and The Walking Dead. I had heard “Midnight Cry” enough times to know “the dead in Christ” would rise, but what about all the others, the ones who weren’t in Christ? Would they be roaming the streets too?

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Jun 20

4 Simple Ways to Change the World Today

By Steve Austin | faith , Family , Marriage , Messy Grace , Parenting , Recovery , Religious Recovery

I launched a new website a few weeks ago. As part of the launch, I created The Writer’s Toolkit. I’ve also been working on two other e-course projects simultaneously. At the same time, I’ve been trying to improve my numbers at my day job, while also helping with husband and Daddy duties. Instead of feeling great about all of these new projects, I’ve felt entirely overwhelmed and inadequate. So what do you do when you want to change the world in an instant but have days when you feel like you can’t keep up? Here’s four simple ways…

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Jun 11

How to Own Our Story and Love Better: Review of “Queer Virtue”

By Steve Austin | faith , lgbtq , Recovery , Religious Recovery , The Struggle With Church

Liz Edman’s book is not another worn-out argument in the “gay debate.” It is a breath of fresh air for Christians everywhere. Biggest takeaway: God continuously queers our dividing lines on behalf of love. If we profess that God is love, but our churches have no place for all God’s children–every vibrant color and flavor of the rainbow, whether straight, gay, transgender, addicted, healed, full of joy, or suicidal–we have missed the point of the Gospel. It is time for the church of Jesus to own our story and live our love.

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Jun 06

The What, Why, How, and Who of Messy Grace

By Steve Austin | Best of Messy Grace , faith , Featured , Messy Grace , Religious Recovery , The Struggle With Church

Have you ever wondered how to live a more grace-filled life? If so, you’ve come to the right place. The mission of the Grace is Messy Community is to love beyond the labels. To love God and everyone we come in contact with, no matter their race, color, religion, creed, disability, or sexual orientation. It’s a safe place for you to come and share your story of a messy life: past, present, and future. A messy life, redeemed by radical, messy, unconditional Grace.

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Apr 14

12 Antidotes for Toxic Christianity

By Steve Austin | faith , Religious Recovery , The Struggle With Church

My buddy Morgan Guyton has written a new book, How Jesus Saves the World from Us: 12 Antidotes to Toxic Christianity. Morgan is the director of the NOLA Wesley Foundation, the United Methodist campus ministry at Tulane and Loyola University in New Orleans. He also blogs regularly on Mercy Not Sacrifice.
Morgan and I have become friends through our writing and sharing struggles. I can tell you this: Morgan is the real deal. A stand-up guy, a smart Christian, and so transparent in his own faith and humanity.

Here’s what Morgan says about How Jesus Saves the World from Us:

“Christianity has always been about being saved. But today what Christians need saving from most is the toxic understanding of salvation we’ve received through bad theology. The loudest voices in Christianity today sound exactly like the religious authorities who crucified Jesus.”

I was fortunate enough to have the chance to ask Morgan a few questions.

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Mar 17

Setting the Record Straight about Gay Christians

By Steve Austin | Best of Messy Grace , faith , lgbtq , Messy Grace , Religious Recovery , The Struggle With Church

For years, I have said my struggle is not knowing what I believe about homosexuality and Christianity. But that’s a lie. My struggle has been more about my own fear of being kicked out of fellowship in the Bible Belt for being willing to defend gay people. I have been afraid to come out and say I believe all people were created by a God who loves us all the same. My struggle has been admitting that what you do behind closed doors in the privacy of your own bedroom with someone you love deeply and are committed to is none of my business.

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Mar 14

The Holy Spirit: Comforter or Crazy Cousin?

By Steve Austin | Best of Messy Grace , Religious Recovery , The Struggle With Church

For many years, I wondered why my personal times with God were often so different from the public experiences others seemed to have. I think it was the abuse. Alone with God was the only place I felt safe enough to fall apart. I spent the first thirty years of my life performing on and off the stage, but I longed to believe that God only wanted the most raw, unfiltered parts of my heart. I needed a God who was powerful and protective, not loud and showy. I longed to feel God the Father, wrapping me in his arms, whispering, “You’re safe here.”

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