Podcast 24: Individualism- EJT about the American Way!

Here is Megan and Dave’s 24th episode of the Everything Jesus Taught Podcast!

In this 26 minute long podcast episode, we talk about Individualism as a part of everything Jesus taught about the American Way. We also chat about:

  • Dave’s ridiculous thrift store leather couch story
  • Bombing while preaching
  • Diet Coke
  • Parenting “experts”
  • Cultural conditioning
  • Sheep
  • THE DEVIL

Listen, comment, subscribe, share, and ask questions for them to answer on the next episode!

Individualism: Everything Jesus Taught about the American Way

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Individualism: the idea that freedom of thought and action for each person is the most important quality of a society, rather than shared effort and responsibility

I’ve got to say, I’m a little conflicted about this topic. Because I really love my freedom of thought and action. Really really.

Really. 

It’s also clear to me that we’ve gone too far with it. 

But it’s really hard to draw the line between personal freedom and shared responsibility, isn’t it?

Individualism is one of the greatest innovations in history. It has its roots in the Bible. It’s the foundation of our country, and of all Western society.  I wouldn’t trade it. 

But it also has a long list of downsides.

Individualism combines with our natural human arrogance in an insidious way. I don’t think it would be off-base to say that all of the major problems we’re facing in our society right now are all consequences of individualism. Our division, our suspicion of one another, our inability to talk about our values with people who don’t agree, the idea of a post-truth world, even the staggering wealth gap, and the disappearing middle class, all stem from individualism run amok.

But it’s still better than the alternatives, which on the extreme end politically would be communism and totalitarianism, and in the local church and community would be communal living, and I really like my privacy.

So I’m conflicted. 

That’s why we’re looking at everything Jesus taught about the American Way. Because there are a lot of things about being an American that aren’t necessarily bad,  that shape the way we see the world, and the way we approach God. But they sure aren’t Christian. And individualism is one of those things. 

Individualism is all about each person doing things their own way.

That’s not the way the world always was, and there’s a whole history to that, but it’s kind of boring, so we’re not going to get into it. 

Well maybe just a little. And really reductionistic… 

So…why did the Pilgrims cross the ocean?

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Scarcity: Everything Jesus Taught about the American Way

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As Americans, most of us wrestle with some level of a fear of there not being enough. We worry there won’t be enough for us, or that there won’t be enough to go around. The truth is this fear isn’t unfounded.  The competition that is at the core of our economy as Americans virtually assures that some will not have enough. For those who struggle each day to get food on the table or to make rent, scarcity isn’t a distant fear, it is is a reality.  This is the kind of hardship we have been talking about the past few weeks when we looked at what Jesus taught about social justice, and our call and responsibility to help those who need us.

But for today, I want us to focus on the fear of scarcity that isn’t grounded in a daily struggle to make ends meet. This is the kind of fear that shows up in us when we aren’t experiencing an actual hardship, but we still have a nagging feeling that there won’t be enough.  We hold on tight to what we have, we protect what’s ours, we worry about me and mine. When this happens, there really is enough for what we need, but we make decisions as if there isn’t. This is what we will call the scarcity mindset.

The scarcity mindset believes there will never be enough, and acts based on this perception of lack, whether there is truly a lack of resources or not.

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Podcast 23: Scarcity- EJT about the American Way!

Here is Megan and Dave’s 23rd episode of the Everything Jesus Taught Podcast!

In this 31 minute long podcast episode, we talk about Scarcity and Abundance as a part of everything Jesus taught about the American Way. We also chat about:

  • Paper towels and key lime pie
  • Closet space in the church
  • Multiplying wheelchairs!
  • Dave’s inability to throw away food
  • Our conflicted minimalist aspirations
  • Love and stuff

Listen, comment, subscribe, share, and ask questions for them to answer on the next episode!

Podcast 22: EJT about Truth, Justice and the American Way!

After an unintentional hiatus for the summer…here is Megan and Dave’s 22nd episode of the Everything Jesus Taught Podcast!

In a nearly 45 minute long podcast episode, we talk about Truth, Justice and the American WayWe also catch up about:

  • Summer time travels (that our kids took without us)
  • How much money Dave would have if he hadn’t sold that Apple stock in 2007
  • Walter White and Tony Soprano
  • Dave’s problems with fundamentalists
  • Meditation

Listen, comment, subscribe, share, and ask questions for them to answer on the next episode!

Everything Jesus Taught about the American Way: Toughness

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We’ve looked at truth and justice. For the next three posts we’re going to look at everything Jesus taught about the American way.

Just like Superman! But we will continue to wear our underwear inside of our clothes.

We’ve picked three of the core values that most of us share as Americans, and we will hold them up against the teachings of Jesus to see what we find. As core values ,they often are completely unquestioned. We just believe them and sometimes we don’t even know that we believe them. They just are. 

And the first one is really captured by Superman, especially when the bullets bounce off of his chest.

And that’s toughness.

Toughness

Being super tough is what gets you hero status for us here in America. We worship the kind of power that makes others submit, whether they like it or not.

On the screen, power usually belongs to a good guy who just wants to be left alone until he’s pushed to the edge. But once he is pushed far enough, he always kills all the bad guys. And there’s something in us as Americans that says that’s what it means to be tough.  

But what did Jesus teach? 

Well, Jesus taught a kind of toughness especially for people with no power.  

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