I spent the first twenty-eight years of my life in church. Sunday and Wednesday service, youth group leadership, conferences and plays and musicals and choir concerts, mission trips and car washes and bake sales, oh my! These days my relationship with the institution is…strained. I’m there when I want the fellowship, or have a friend […]
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 […]
I’m a pastor, and I once attempted suicide because my brain has an illness that is no different from heart disease or cancer. I require medication to function as normally as possible, and I have to visit a specialist to keep track of my progress. I’m writing about this because the stigma surrounding mental illness, […]
I was recently invited for an interview by a woman I’ve never met before. Sure, we’ve conversed over Twitter from time-to-time, but all I really knew about Erika before we sat down is that she is an atheist and she has DID (dissociative disorder). What could we possibly have in common? Well, friends, more than you […]
It’s who you are that counts. Your worship to God is the way you live. A few years ago, I would have ignored, shunned, and been disgusted by the scene that unfolded that night at the gas pump. The journey toward authentic faith became real for me in that moment.
The most effective way to destroy prejudice is by sharing tangible love, one opportunity or person at a time. If my Sunday morning song service doesn’t match my response to a gay guy at the gas pump, I’m in trouble.
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? […]
My relationship with the church has closely resembled the person who continues to run back to their abusive partner. Concerned friends have told me to leave a hundred times, but “like a dog that returns to its vomit”, I have continued to go back for more, even after the time I nearly died. I’ve heard […]