20 Questions

I have seen this on other sites so I thought we would try it here. Here at SCP we will have our own variation of this “Q and A” time. Now’s your chance to know what I think about ANY subject in the world. (Not sure why you would want to know what I think about any subject, but what the heck)!

So here’s the deal. Each person is allowed to ask me one question. The question you ask can be about anything you want to know. My thoughts on the church or theology. You can ask me what I think about life or relationships. You can ask me about sports or cooking. (I know nothing about cooking but you can ask). The point is that no question is off-limits.

You can even ask me about personal stuff. Kind of like an online game of “Truth or Dare” without the “dare” part. No secrets will be kept from you.

But don’t waste your questions. If someone asks me, “why the sky is blue” or some ridiculous question like that I will answer it. And it will count against the 20 question quota.

Why are we doing this? Well I thought it might be fun. Also, I have a really heavy blog I am about to post and I thought maybe we could do something light before we tackle that one.

Remember ONLY ASK ONE QUESTION AT A TIME. You can ask more than one question, but please wait until I have answered your prior question before you ask another one. Once we reach the 20 Question limit, comments will be turned off. OK, start asking!

86 thoughts on “20 Questions”

  1. Sorry everyone to not have the show go on as promised. I was delayed by a crazy internet problem at Diedrich’s so I had to wait until I got home from my son’s basketball practice to post… hope this will be worth the wait, but I doubt it will live up to the hype. And I apologize in advance for the length of this comment…so bear with me.Well everyone, let the show begin. I have had all day to think about how to respond to our dearly beloved Sable. And I still was not sure what to do….A couple of options…1) Don’t respond. Her comments are so good that I think they speak volumes about who she is at her core…. at this moment.2) Blast her away… oh, you better believe I have three or four responses crafted and saved in MS Word ready to go. They go on and on of her ignorance and judgmental attitude. I seriously go off on her and blow her away with my wit and my insight and then walk away laughing…… and I would feel better… for a little while.BUT I AM NOT CHOOSING ANY OF THOSE OPTIONS….here’s why:I am saddened by her comments…not for me but for what she represents. I have visited Sable’s blog and seen some of the other things there and it saddens me. At first her comments seemed so out of place. At times I wasn’t sure if it was a joke or not. But I think now that she is a real person that truly believes what she is writing… not just on SCP but on other sites as well.She represents a sickness within the church. I do not think she represents the vast majority of Christians, but then again I am not so sure. I truly want to believe that she is an anomaly within the church….but then I got to thinking….we are ALL still stupid church people on some level. Maybe not to Sable’s degree in this instance, but I still have things to learn about what Christ wants for me and for the way I treat others.And it wasn’t that many years ago that I shared some really “stupid church people” type thoughts on things. For example, I was totally insensitive of gays and thought they were bound to go to hell. My understanding was that the Bible was clear on this issue and that you couldn’t be gay and Christian. I truly felt that way, until my best friend and the strongest Christian I know sat across the table from me and he told me he was gay. It has taken me several years to understand him and much study to try and come to grips with what that all means from a theological viewpoint. And regardless of how you or I feel about homosexuality, all people regardless of their status in life, or who they sleep with, or what they drink or eat… all people deserve our respect, our non-judgmental attitudes and our grace. Even “Stupid Church People”.Another example is how less than a year ago, I looked around at my neighbors who were divorced and thought less of them. I really did on some level wonder, “What’s wrong with them? Why can’t they keep their marriage together. Think about what’s it is doing to the kids. Why are they so selfish? They should stay together for the kids.” I wondered what he did wrong, or what she did wrong and I felt so good about myself and my family. I saw my marriage as strong and invincible. We loved each other (still do I might add) and were best friends (still are I might add). That’ll never happen to us… we are soooo perfect.And you know what I did. Not long after my wife and I separated I went to those neighbors and confessed my self-righteous attitude and asked their forgiveness. And guess what? They forgave me and have become a consistent network of support during this time… sadly, more so than those at my own church have been. So, you are right Sable when you say that you do not know my situation… you are supposing and assuming things that you know NOTHING about….I hope you will rethink the way it sounds when you say things like that to people in my current circumstance. I hope that you will not make assumptions about people and their life and will give them your genuine care and concern… not your solutions or “godly” advice. It’s OK to be a “stupid church person”, because we all are. And all of us need to recognize it in our lives, learn how we can become more honest with ourselves and others, and reflect genuine love and concern for others. Yeah, on this site I have a stripper poster that makes light of a Christian event, we talk about drinking beer or alcohol, we cuss a little (ok maybe more than a little) and we make fun of the silly and dumb things that Christians do…and yes, I have judged others and gotten out of line on all accounts. But I judge myself at all times as well and as brutally as anyone else.But beyond all of that, our hearts are focused on loving God and loving others while we seek to expose the Christian religious system, structures and people that sometimes do everything but that, in our opinion. And for this reason, you shouldn’t take this to mean Sable that we won’t be watching you and your site or talking about you in future days or weeks… because truly your comments upset me and angered me like you can’t comprehend. So we’ll be around…and I hope you will be too. Who knows maybe one day we’ll even understand each other…because I figure we have at least one thing in common…we are both Stupid Church People with a long way to go!

  2. How funny that you put this post up – My husband and I were just talking about you yesterday as we suffered from not-going-to-church guilt, wondering what you do on Sundays (or Saturdays or whenever “church” is for you) – not that we follow a do-what-steve-does rule, we just wondered as we thought about what we should be doing right now. We’re struggling to find a church that seems to model the things we believe God called the early church to (the poor, the orphaned, the widowed) and isn’t about raising itself up with the tithe from the “members.”So, my question is, while you wrestle with your own thoughts and questions about how church is done, do you go? Regularly? Do you participate (read as: serve) and tithe? – Okay, all that has to be one question!! 😉 Basically, do you regularly and actively participate in your church of choice amidst how you feel and what you think/believe?

  3. BONUS QUESTION #16.2 from ruinedforlife: <>If you prefer to fold or scrunch (when wiping, of course). <>BONUS ANSWER: Fold.

  4. ::leaves the party to go get more snacks…comes back with chocolate chip cookies and milk…reminisces about the days when margaritas did the trick and how mommyhood has changed her into such a snack party pooper…snaps out of it…”hey everyone Martha Stewart’s back!”…passes cookies around…”when’s the show start again? I have to go watch Gilmore Girls…”::

  5. Well, hell! I was trying to get my post in before Steve had a chance to finally begin the show! I, the infamous, Mrs C., have been a quiet, yet huge fan of SCP. I LOVE it! I can’t get enough of it! It’s as therapeutic for me as it is for Steve and hopefully for others. So… with that said… my reason for speaking up at this point was to address the “chicken” (why are we calling her Sable anyway?)before Steve had a chance to. But, since his response (or non-response) was perfect, I still felt my 2 cents would be relevant. Chicken has NO idea what she’s stepped into with her obnoxious comments. I have to say this to her (do we know if it’s a “her”?) That is… Steve is a changed man. He changes everyday. Not in a crazy, irratic way! well, sorta. He is always learning, challenging his faith, questioning himself, etc. He’s one of the most open, transparent, real people I know. And, just for the record, he is and has always been a wonderful father and husband. So… I will leave it at that. This is his blog, not intended for our personal lives, but I know that will come out from time to time.Now, Steve, could you please answer nin’s question? I’m feeling really sad for her… feeling invisible and all. I see you nin!

  6. If sable chicken is the bunghole, then I must be the… hmm. I dunno. Left bicuspid, I guess. Or maybe the belly button. Or the lint in the belly button. The cheesy lint.Yes, I believe that’s it. I am the cheesy lint of the Body of Christ.

  7. Question #3 from ruinedforlife: <>What is the most painful experience you’ve ever had in your life? <>OK, Chris if I had a prize to hand out you just might win it with this question. On a subconscious (yet near conscious level) I was probably setting up this post so someone would ask me just this question. However, if no one asked it and wanted to know my views on a million other things then fine. If it got personal then that was OK too… but this one was the biggie for me. My most painful experience would most likely be best explained in three closely related experiences, because they deal with a theme in my life. Each was the most painful when I reflect back on them for various reasons, and because they happened at three different life-stages. All three tap into my greatest two fears: the fear of loss and the fear of rejection. Finally all three have to do with a death of something in my life that was precious and highly valued.So here they are in chronological order without much detail.DEATH OF A HERO (1975) – My father passed away when I was a young boy. He was my hero, the person I looked up to more than anything else in my world at that time. The pain of permanently losing that fixture in my life was immense and still impacts me today to some extent.DEATH OF A CALLING (1992) – After moving to Colorado to serve at a church as a Youth Pastor, I was let go after 6 months for reasons I still do not understand. This is the “Ego Addiction” story I have alluded to on the site and Podcast. I won’t get into it here, but I was extremely burned out when I arrived there to work, and I just felt like this church butchered me in the way they dumped me. It was an eye-opening experience for me as to the harshness of church work. We were stranded in CO, away from friends and family in CA and TX. It was horrible. I remember laying in bed realizing then that I wanted out of ministry full-time, but since it was what I had wanted to do with my life, the only thing I had been trained to do, I felt so lost. It was then that I knew God was calling me out of ministry full-time as a career, I just needed to figure a way out. That would take me six more years to accomplish. The positive out of this experience was the “mental birth” of SCP during this experience…although it would take 13 years for me to find an outlet.DEATH OF A MARRIAGE (2005) – Earlier this year my wife and I separated. After 15 years of marriage we are now in the process of getting a divorce. I won’t get into the details here, but this is a situation that neither of us truly wanted or expected for our lives. But trust me when I say that it is very complicated and when the time is right I will share more. I have been wanting to talk about this for some time on this site, but wasn’t quite sure how. I never thought I would be going through this in my life. It has been described to me as the “death of our marriage as I knew it.” Suffice it to say, we both know that our children are now the focus of our lives.Ironically, the birth of SCP almost directly correlated with the separation of my marriage. This site and podcast has been a place of refuge in the midst of these times.Thanks for letting me share so candidly about these experiences. I am actually starting a < HREF="http://stevechastain.typepad.com/" REL="nofollow"> personal blog<> where my stories and life lessons will be the focus. My hope is that they will compliment the SCP site and benefit those that read them.

  8. Sweet merciful God…Chad, I’ll have a dog while I wait for some barbecued “chicken.” Here…I brought some beer.

  9. Steve, What is the most painful experience you’ve ever had in your life? (PS: If you’ve ever done time in a state prison and taken at least one shower there, you can skip this question.)…If I can, I’ll ask a “lighter” one after this. But I wanted to be sure to get in an important one first. -Chris

  10. QUESTION #2 from Zeke: <>What do you believe about Hell, Steve?<>Your gonna pin me down ‘eh Zeke? Now, I am not a theologian. I appreciate those that have a deep understanding of eschatological topics, but I myself am very limited. So as limited as it is, here is my answer to what I believe.I believe Hell is a real place, designed for the angels and his demons. I believe Jesus died and his blood was shed to redeem man from a life separated from God. Hell is a place, where the loneliness and final separation from God, our creator, will be the primary punishment for rejecting Christ and what he did for mankind on the cross.Larry Norman said this about Heaven and Hell and I like it. He said, “You don’t go to Heaven because your good, and you don’t go to Hell because your bad. You go to Heaven because you ask to.” It’s pretty simple, and I know there are lots of wholes, but it does get to the essence of the matter.(P.S. – I will not debate these questions on this post. These are my answers. They are short and most likely incomplete. Please do not ask comment on my answers. I just don’t want to get into a back and forth dialogue about these subjects here. Thanks.)

  11. Look up MrsC…. I already did answer it. Pay attention honey… or is it that after all these years of me talking so much you can even tune me out here in the blogosphere.The more things change the more they stay the same.

  12. <><>I don’t know your situation with your wife, but if your really want her back, become a changed man. It is worth it to make it work with her than to think that you will find a better woman to love your children with you. I will be praying for you with this, because I no that this will not be easy for you to do.<><>spoken like a true christian…. thanks, i need reminders like these every now and then. you know, maybe you should keep your prayers. god only knows that guys like me would just love to kick the living shit out of self-righteous assholes like you 🙂eddieO

  13. You can be assured “D” that I did nothing out of deference to Dorsey… but I am sure you know that. He, with his “grace” talk, somewhat stole my thunder… but that’s OK, he’s been drinking beer and eating dogs all day waiting for me to show up. I’ll cut him some slack.And you will duly note I did reserve the right at the end of my comments to “take the Chicken to task” on her comments in another place and time… I do believe there is a place for “righteous indignation” and opportune comments like hers provides me plenty of fodder. There is a right time for all things…and as I have learned half the battle is learning the right time and the right place.

  14. QUESTION #6 from Eric: <>What do you think about “gay Christians”?<>Well I think they are “FAAAAABULOUS”! Sorry, I couldn’t resist Eric. I am really glad you asked this question.If you listen to the site and the podcasts, you no doubt have probably heard me talk about homosexuality a lot. It is because that two of my dearest and most loved friends are gay. (OK, let’s put it to rest here…neither one of them is Josh). I have known these two people the majority of my life. As a result I have gotten to know plenty of gay people.Both of my friends are two of the most inspirational people I know. Both have dynamic, growing relationships with God (each in very different ways and expressions) and have each encouraged me and shaped my own spiritual journey.I have had the privilege of going through the coming out process with both of them and this journey has not been without pain. Because of their struggle they have an understanding of the grace of God like I might never know.Now, the stupid church people, they don’t seem to have the same amount of grace. They give lip service to it, but do not possess it.So it seems as if you are asking, “Do I think a person can be gay and be a Christian at the same time?” If that is the question, I answer a resounding “Yes”.“Do I think that a person can live in a homosexual relationship and be a Christian?” Same answer… “Yes”.I do not see that the grace of God has any boundaries if one has placed his or her faith in that grace.<>You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. -Galatians 3:26-29<>

  15. What do you think about “gay Christians”?Eric< HREF="http://twoworldcollision.blogspot.com/" REL="nofollow">Two World Collision<>

  16. QUESTION #18 from Ninjanun: <>Have you ever left a church of your own free will, and how did you explain yourself to those (both within that church or just other christians) who wanted to know why you left?<>Ninjanun, you do matter and I wasn’t ignoring you… we just got a little sidetracked… didn’t we everyone?? So while we are sitting here waiting for the show, let me take a sec to answer your question.Yes, as a staff member I have chosen to move on by my own decision. It is my contention that no staff member or pastor ever leaves a place unless there is some reason to leave. We cover it up by saying God calls us or something like that, but most people have ulterior motives. That isn’t to say that you are leaving a place because it is bad, but there is something drawing us to move on. It depends on the situation but I am not one to burn bridges. It may seem hard to believe, but I just do not believe you trash anyone after you have left a place. No one benefits in that situation. People have asked me on this site why I don’t name names and call people out, and I could do that I guess, but what’s the point.That’s how I approach it in leaving a place. For example, right now I am no longer attending the church I have gone to for the past two plus years. The pastor and I meet occasionally and email each other, he knows what’s up with me and why I am not there. I never tell people “spiritual” jargon like “God called me to move on to another place or minstry” especially if you know that what that means is you couldn’t stand working with the senior pastor and the whole place was driving you nuts. People can read between the lines. I think in those type situations it is OK to say, “That this just wasn’t the right place for any longer” or if you are leaving for some place else, “It was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up!”Hopefully you have a close circle of friends that can help you process the transition and talk through the “real” reasons behind your move. If you have those type of friends you know how vital they are… if you don’t please feel free to email me anytime.

  17. What is “see you at the pole” about?Is it still funny if your sister or daughter is caught up in a world of porn, driven by lust for money and power? Don’t answer this…because it is NO.

  18. Thanks for participating in the 20 questions. I have enjoyed it and it has helped me crystallize some things that I have been thinking. It has helped me share some things I have been wanting to share. I appreciate you caring enough to ask and listen. Now we resume our normal blogging.

  19. Steve,I’m aching for you and Mrs. C. I can’t imagine how much it sucks.I ask this because it’s played an important role in some of my recent decisions:Have your kids asked why you’re not in church, and what have you told them, and do they have opportunity to relate with other believing kids? (one question)

  20. Okay, here’s mine…Why do you and Josh resort to humor with a homosexual subtext in your programs?Not trying to offend, I’m just curious!

  21. As I’m sitting here waiting for Steve to rip Sable Chicken a new one (and deservedly so) for her insanely insensitive bullshit, I’m mulling over Brennan Manning (I’m halfway through “Ragamuffin Gospel”). He pretty convincingly asserts that even the most uptight fundamentalists get grace from God, therefore who are we to withhold it from anyone? hmmm…feeling a little convicted about my bloodlust here.I once said on someone else’s site that if, as scripture states, it’s true that we’re all different parts of the same body, then we have to cut some slack to the asshole when we encounter him/her.Damnit. I was really looking forward to this, too.not without sin…

  22. QUESTION #7 from T-Bone: <>How is your fantasy football team doing this year? SuperBowl aspirations?<>Always have those Super Bowl aspirations. In the church league I started out 4-0 and then lost this weekend to the team that started out 0-4. It was a bad weekend for some of my key players and he took advantage of it. On paper it should’ve been a cakewalk, but I have had my fair share of breaks… just not this weekend. That’s why we play the games right?? But I’ll take 4-1 anytime.In my other online league I had a horrible draft (which is uncharateristic for me) and I just don’t have a great team. Seems like every player I wanted was off the board when it came around to me….and so as a result I am a dismal 0-5. I can only hope to play spoiler in that league.Thanks for asking Tony and giving me an easy one to handle. The way this past weekend went with my Fantasy Team I am surprised I didn’t fumble it.

  23. Question #20:What would it take for Steve Chastain to ever return to regular church attendance, if anything? (I guess this is one of those ‘what would you change to make it all work’ questions)oh, and I’ve started a questions thread on my blog. I don’t really think anyone gives a flying fuc-cryin’-out-loud, about what I think. I was just bored & thought we could all explore the wonder that is jeff…

  24. QUESTION #12 from Jeff: <>Is there anything about church/christianity that you DO like?<>First Jeff, it’s glad to see you back among the living.That question sounds a little loaded with sarcasm, but it is hard to tell without the identifiers… LOL… I’m giving you a hard time.Well, you ask a good question my friend. I think it is interesting that you lump church/christianity together like that.If by church/christianity you mean the organized portion of the “religion” of following Christ… I think there is plenty to dislike there. And I am not alone.Erwin McManus says that <> “The greatest enemy to the movement of Jesus Christ is Christianity.”<> I agree with that statement. I think the church/christianity is God’s designed institution to reach out to the world and demonstrate his love. We are his hands and his feet as individuals and as a corporate body. So that part I like. But there is a bottleneck somewhere and we are stepping all over ourselves and messing up the main mission we were given. But if by church/christianity you mean the people. Well I love many of my Christian friends in the church. Somehow I am able to maintain my relationships with them, while still being candid about how I feel about the church. I do not judge anyone that wants to attend church. I do not look down on anyone that wants to regularly go and be a part of a group of believers. Right now I am just not interested. Most of the Christians I know seem to understand my position (even a few church staff I know are a little envious). So there isn’t much I do like about church but I do love the process of following Christ.

  25. You mean, Let’s sin more, so that grace will abound? Bonhoeffer called using grace as an excuse to do what you want “cheap grace.” Doing that betrays an understanding of its unmerited nature. Becoming our better selves is our response to this unimaginable gift.So sure, grace will be there, but why be the recipient of it when you can be the one to extend it?

  26. QUESTION #13 from D: <>If God’s grace is infinite, then to what extent is it our responsibility to “clean up” our behavior?<>I think it is your responsibility and my responsibility to do what God is leading us to do in the area of our behavior. No one else can dictate that when it comes to behaviors that do not violate God’s commands.The two commandments we are to follow as people under grace are 1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and 2) Love your neighbor as you love yourself.I think it is our “freedom” in Christ that dictates certain areas of our lives and the two commandments above that dictate God’s grace in our lives. We need God’s grace when we violate the two commandments.By drinking I do not consider that a sin so I am not abusing the grace of God. Cussing is the same issue for me…unless of course I cuss out my neighbor and show them disrespect.If I lie and steal from my neighbor then I am violating that 2nd commandment above and thus need God’s grace. If I continue to violate my neighbor by lying and stealing then I am abusing the grace of God. My freedom in Christ does not allow me to violate his commands as I choose. Hope that makes some sense.

  27. QUESTION #5 from BruceD: <>If we are saved by our own faith, how much is enough to insure our salvation?<>I am not certain that we are saved by our own faith. We are saved by grace, which is the gift of God expressed to us through His son, Jesus. However, I understand the gist of your question. If it is through our faith in the gift of God’s grace that saves us, then how much faith do we need to insure our salvation? How much is enough to “get us in”??Well, I once heard it put it this way. “Giving as much of myself as I understand to as much of Christ as I understand will save me.” That made sense to me and jived with my personal experiences of faith.So when I was seven and I was in church, and I was hearing about going to hell and the way to be with Jesus in heaven was to walk down that aisle and accept him into my life and get “saved”…well that is what I did. At fifteen, when I had a clearer understanding of sin (boy did I) and a clearer understanding of myself and how much I needed God’s grace, I “rededicated” my life. At nineteen, when I again had learned more about how fallen I could be, and how much I needed God in my life. I again found myself asking God to “save” me.At 25…. well you get the picture.I just think the journey of faith is a process. Is there a point in time when someone is “saved” or not?? I am not certain how it all works. I just trust God to figure it all out. I know that’s not perfect theology and I may be blasted for not being a “deep thinker” on this or having a clearer theological understanding…but c’mon who can really say for certain how it all works. Take any systematic theology class and you’ll find that to be true. This is just my viewpoint. (And again, I am not wanting to dialogue about this, so put those theological and doctrine shotguns down right now… thank you!)Hope that answers your question Bruce.

  28. Have not read all of your comments, blogs.. do not know if I ever could.. or want to…I dislike many portions of today’s “organized” big buildings that people call church. However, I believe we need to take the “church” back rather than continue starting new ones. Many of my friends have left the buildings in the same fashion as you. They seem bitter, some being ex-pastoral staff have unresolved issues. My problem is that Christ, in spite of the big buildings of organized church, still shows up in those buildings. He does some excellent work in humbling those big headed ? (lack of word)Also before the question.. a quick clarification.. “start new ones”..refers in my book to starting home “cells,” “groups,” “study homes,” and staying in those small groups without connectivity to other groups. Home anything without missions is just as dead, as the buildings we rant against.Therefore, the question: Are you so against the buildings, that you are blinding yourself and others to the possibilities of reinstalling God’s plan, His word back into those very things we dislike…?

  29. I love mustard. My favorite are Chicago hot dogs, cuz let’s face it, it ain’t a dog if there ain’t a salad on top of it LMAO

  30. Sorry that I missed your “metaphorical” chicken burning last night, but I knew I could read all about it in the morning. Steve, I would like to thank you for your response, it was good. You did not answer my questions, but that’s ok.. Thank you for letting people ask you questions, and then really taking the time to thoughtfully response. Steve when I say I am praying for you, I mean it. I am sorry that I hit some nerves with you. You hit many with me, and we are living in a time and place where it is not offen easy to say “stop it you are hurting me.” Eddie Oh …ouch, I’m turning the my other cheek to you. Joshua, If you leave comments on my blog with a sexual over tone about your “cats” again, I will censor them, that also goes for fowl language and pictures of you giving me the finger or devil horns…etc, Or anything XXX or 666. You have been warned, censor yourself thank you. 😉

  31. Steve, Thanks for being authentic in who you are. I really appreciate that about your writing here. So, since we’re not at the limit yet, here’s my #2:What is one thing in your life that you would have chosen to do differently if given the chance today? I guess with only 20 questions, it’s just not worth it to waste one asking if you prefer to fold or scrunch (when wiping, of course).

  32. QUESTION #19 from Dorsey: <>Have your kids asked why you’re not in church, and what have you told them, and do they have opportunity to relate with other believing kids? (one question)<>C’mon Dorsey you know that’s not one question. Who are you trying to fool brutha??So, to break it down.1) <>Have your kids asked why you’re not in church?<>Not really. My little really enjoyed Saddleback and asks to go occasionally, so we should probably go back. They have a coffee bar upstairs in the outside area so you can sit and watch the service on TV while you drink coffee… sounds nice. Or I could just take my iPod and listen to my own music and work on the SCP site while I am there.2) <>What have you told them?<> Well I haven’t really talked to the oldest (11) about it and I probably should. You know he had a good church camp experience this summer but overall he wasn’t that jazzed about our kids program at the church. So maybe we should try Saddleback for him.Honestly this isn’t fair Dorsey using my kids against me like that :-), but it’s a valid question. One of the things I do think about is “should I be going for the kids”, but then I am thinking, “how lame is that”…it is again me abdicating to the church my responsibility to teach Christian principles and values to my children. I just honestly need to do a better job of sharing my faith through loving God and loving others to my children. I know I don’t do that very well.3) <>Do they have opportunity to relate with other believing kids?<> Sure, we have other “church-going” families in the community and my sons best friend goes to Saddleback. They are a good family. He and this other boy are joined at the hip, but I don’t think they really share much about God (I know I didn’t when I was 11). But I hope my son chooses his friends for more than whether or not the are “believers” or not. I hope he will be able to discern character and principles of people and choose his friends based on that, not just based on what church they attend.OK.. now I counted them… that was three questions. But I will cut you slack since you sent me the full-size picture of you in the princess outfit from the Harvest festival. That’s priceless!

  33. <>Nun said: “I feel so invisible lately. Somebody, please acknowledge my existence (and my question)!”<>I already told you you don’t look fat in that dress. I comment regularly on your blog. It’s getting like we’re married or something.-Z.

  34. QUESTION #4 from Jay O’Shea: <> Why did you remove the satirical post about Christians looting the pornography shops and burning the contents?<>Good observation Jay. The reason was that the comments and reaction to the post had become more about why I posted it rather then the post itself.It was meant to be funny and somewhat light-hearted (although it did cause me to think on some level about Christians actually being that crazy to do that sort of thing) but I was getting a totally different reaction… and I was just tired of the direction it took. Since it wasn’t something I wrote and something I just found on the web, it seemed I could let it go. I had no attachment to it. If you want to still read it or refer others to it you can find it at http://www.larknews.com

  35. Hey guys (and Laura)… can I join you while the fireworks are getting set up and we are waiting for it to get dark… got any carne asade to throw on that grill…EddieO come on back. Don’t just chime in and leave, you should stick around and wait… I here it’s gonna be a great show.And I don’t drink beer, but I think I will mix us up a batch of margaritas!I think the show will start about 8:00 PM Pacific time or so… cmon everyone, join us!

  36. You’ve kinda touched on this already but I wanted to know, why do we expect God to have unlimited grace when it comes to us, but we have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to grace for God?In the last podcast Josh said something about how if God could take away his grandfather like that, why would he want to have a relationship with a God like that.So that’s my question. We want God to have unlimited grace when he deals with us, but is it fair that we have none when we deal with him?

  37. QUESTION #20 from Jeff: <>What would it take for Steve Chastain to ever return to regular church attendance, if anything? <>What a perfect question to end this on….thanks Jeff.I was joking earlier with a friend on the phone and I told them about this question… and the first answer that popped into my head was “a funeral”… and quite possibly that might only happen if it was my own…But anyway, I am not sure what it will take. I don’t know if I will ever “regularly” attend again. I say that at this point pretty convincingly. I honestly wish that wasn’t the case because there is something secure in what the church has given me all these years. Like most people I couldn’t have imagined my life without it. (Sounds like a theme in my life for 2005)….”Things I Couldn’t Imagine My Life Without”….You know I was called to communicate. I feel that that is my gift from God. The first time around when I left full-time ministry six years ago, it was truly a death for me, because if you feel called to teach and speak the message of grace and you aren’t a pastor…where do you do it?But then I landed at my current church and the pastor there gave me a platform and allowed me to speak 4-6 times a year for the past two years…and now I pretty much have walked away from that. I got the chance to do speak again, and I am grateful, but you know, it wasn’t the same because I just didn’t believe my own bull so much.I would be preparing my talk before I would speak and I would think… what do I really know about this stuff? I sure would like to open the floor and discuss this with people. Or I would think, you know I only have about ten minutes of things to say, but I need to fill 30 because that’s what is on the order of service.Why 30 minutes? Why do I need to stand on the stage? Why do I need to do a PowerPoint? Why do we need to have a movie clip or a drama to illustrate my message? Can’t I just give my main point and then invite people to share stories about their lives and how their relationships are messed up and interview them about things they would do differently in their marriages….Why do we do what we do the way we do it? Why does it always have to be the same? What if I just told them I didn’t really have anything to say, but I thought it might be a good idea if we sang some songs together and then stopped the service and just all mingled together and talked for awhile.I would love to see a church do that…just free-form some and not be so constrained to the Order of Service. And my main thing… GET RID OF ANNOUNCEMENTS AND OFFERINGS… do it now! The church will survive without them. Put a flier out for upcoming events and put an offering receptacle in the back. It’ll be OK…. God will provide and if he doesn’t then shut it down. Pretty simple.OK… so maybe that gives you some ideas of what it might take. Maybe I will be back someday. Maybe I will even be given the chance to speak again in spite of the SCP site.But most importantly I have always felt a leading to serve and dialogue with people on the fringes of church. People that struggle, are disappointed and are not sure where they stand with God or the church. SCP has given me that chance and a “safe” format for me and each of us to journey together down this path.Can’t wait to see where it takes us together.

  38. Well, if uptight fundamentalists receive grace from God, then oughtn’t the ones who tear said fundamentalists a new one receive it as well?

  39. Steve, I wasn’t saying God screws up, but since we tend to live our lives from a me-centric point of view. When God’s plan doesn’t gel with ours, we think he has screwed up. So operating in that mindset, yeah we have no grace for God or understanding for His plan in our lives.

  40. QUESTION #11 from Laura: <>Do you regularly and actively participate in your church of choice amidst how you feel and what you think/believe?<>No, currently I am no longer attending church at this moment nor am I “church shopping”. Call it a hiatus or a sabbatical from church. Or church detox. Something like that. Don’t have guilt Laura, whatever you do. That type of guilt is conditioned, but you probably already know that. If it is in your heart to find a place you will in due time. On Sundays, I watch football with my oldest son and we talk about our fantasy football teams. Then we might go to lunch as a family. Also my oldest is in basketball and his club team has games on Sundays currently so we do that and the youngest has soccer on Sundays too. So we do that…and I have no problem seeing that as a spiritual excercise. Probably doesn’t qualify for the pastor types out there but they are just jealous… 🙂And things like today was church for me… my youngest son stayed home with me and we went to Chuck E Cheese and had this cool conversation about God. He said he had a dream about God in his heart and I asked what he looked like and he said “real big” and that God can fix anything he wants “cause he has all the powers in the world.” Doesn’t get any better than talking theology with a five year old.Now if you do happen to follow a “Do-what-Steve-says” mentality, here’s what I want you to do. Get up and go sit on your man’s lap and give him a huge, long “baby I want you kiss”!!! If he asks what that was for, tell him you were just following orders. He’s on his own after that. Have fun!!

  41. QUESTION #14 from Sable Chicken: <>Who are this Stupid Church People you are trying to offend after one beer to many? 😉 I assume that you are not these “Stupid Church People”.<>Well, Sable, I have been and am often a Stupid Church Person. You are quoting something from my response back in question #6 I believe regarding gay people and grace. You took me out of context.I wrote, <>“I have had the privilege of going through the coming out process with both of them (my gay friends) and this journey has not been without pain. Because of their struggle they have an understanding of the grace of God like I might never know.Now, the stupid church people, they don’t seem to have the same amount of grace. They give lip service to it, but do not possess it.<>I thought I would re-post the entire section so as not to be misunderstood again. There are church people that pay lip service to grace but do not actually give it to those in pain. They say they love the hurting but ignore them. I have been that stupid church person. I am trying not to be that way anymore, but I too continue to fail. However, I know people that feel they are “mature” in their faith that wouldn’t know the meaning of grace if it hit them smack in the forehead. That’s becuase they haven’t received much of it in their lives since they walk around in their piety and perfectness all day. I too, have been them!All I am saying is that if the “stupid church person” fits, then wear it.

  42. So, since drinkin’ and cussin’ are something of a running gag ’round these parts…Do you find moderation of one’s behavior a significant part of being a Christian? Or does grace absolve us of the need to try to be perfect and Christ-like in our day-to-day activities?Put another way…If God’s grace is infinite, then to what extent is it our responsibility to “clean up” our behavior?

  43. QUESTION #17 from Sable Chicken: <> What is “see you at the pole” about?<>Sable, not sure where you are coming from…went to your blog and I am still not sure. But anyway….See You at the Pole is about… well go to their site and see for yourself… http://www.syatp.comIt’s not a bad, bad thing… it’s just a showy church thing that bugs me personally. In my opinion it doesn’t truly teach kids the value of prayer but it teaches them how to “show off” how spiritual they are. Of course, that’s my opinion… and I don’t pray at resturants before eating with my kids but we do pray before bedtime (sometimes). Prayer is a private act with God… but that might just be me.

  44. Steve my question is about your poster you have on the side bar. The blue one with the stripper doing a pole dance…This did not lead me to http://www.syatp.com. I looked at this web page and I still don’t see how this poster made by SCP relates to http://www.syatp.com other that you have made a mock of their name. This is the first time I have heard about http://www.syatp.comare you trying to say that this is a xxxchurch? Because I’m not getting that feeling from what I just read on there web page. Do you really think that this is a way to bring people to Christ, with the lure of strippers? or is this just mockery in poor taste.I don’t know your situation with your wife, but if your really want her back, become a changed man. It is worth it to make it work with her than to think that you will find a better woman to love your children with you. I will be praying for you with this, because I no that this will not be easy for you to do.

  45. Hrmm…a dyslexic blogger? Oxymorons aside, you at least gotta admire Sable’s tenacity. With that in mind, one ought to wonder why it is that the “stripper” thing would touch a nerve such that she would exert the effort to chime in as she did. Something personal? Or just the usual uptight SCP who can’t take a joke?…and no, this is not a thinly veiled insult; I’m genuinely curious.

  46. QUESTON #16 from ruinedforlife: <>What is one thing in your life that you would have chosen to do differently if given the chance today? <>Chris, that is a tough one. I do not have regrets in my life, I think it is hard to live forward if you look back too often. However, I do have a regret in one area. Knowing what I know now, I would have spent more time with my wife and our kids as a family doing things together. Although, I think I lived a fairly balanced life, I can see that I was caught up in my own stuff too much and missed some opportunities to have those moments together as memories for my kids. We should have played more on the weekends, gone to the park more together, or down to the beach and just hung out together more.Along the same lines (and my wife knows this is how I feel, lest you think I am communicating through a blog to her) there were times after the kids had gone to bed and maybe she wanted to watch a movie or a TV show together and I chose to work rather than do that. I didn’t watch the movies she wanted to watch enough (or ever) or listen to the music she liked enough (or ever)…all things I wish I could do again. I had a chance to learn more about her, care more for her feelings and listen to her more and I missed those chances. I would give anything for a “do-over”.Not that by doing those things it would have changed the outcome of our current situation, because I know that is not the case. But now, not having the chance to do those things, with her and as a family, I greatly miss them and regret not taking advantage of lost opportunities to connect with the people I love the most.The good news: I get a chance to still do that with my kids….and I hope I will learn from these lessons.

  47. While we’re waiting, can you please answer MY question? Because I did manage to get it in before the 20-question limit was reached.I feel so invisible lately. Somebody, please acknowledge my existence (and my question)!

  48. first of all, bravo, Mr. Chastain. You’re a better man than I. While I had my suspicions that what Sable said had more to do with what she was (what sort of person calls dyslexia a “gift from God,” anyway?), I for one likely would not have let that get in the way of a proper flame. Hence the comment along the lines of “God will forgive us for ripping her a new one.”..which, by the way, was merely made in jest. Well, that and vague disappointment that Steve might opt for the first option out of deference to dorsey.…what can I say? I’m impetuous, at times.

  49. QUESTION #1 from Zecryphon: <>We want God to have unlimited grace when he deals with us, but is it fair that we have none when we deal with him?<>God does not need my grace. It sounds like you want me to “cut God some slack” if he happens to screw up. I don’t believe God screws up. If in fact, God does control our circumstances (which I don’t believe he does) and he chose to not save my loved one and they died, I would either have to accept the situation as it is, or choose not to accept it. To imply I need to give God grace sounds as if I need to forgive God for who He is. That is not my place. I need to accept him for who He is.

  50. Patience, nun.As best as I can tell, you’re #18, I’m #19.You’re certainly not invisible. You’re one of us. Here, pull up a chair, have a beer, Laura’s got some popcorn. Hey, Chad, another dog over here! This oughta be good.

  51. QUESTION #9 from Zecryphon:<>Which Bible translation do you use and why?<>I use the NIV primarily. It seems to be the most widely currently chosen Bible so I use it since most people have it…especially when I was teaching and on this site.For a more literal read, I choose the NASB version. Seems to be the closest to the original languages.And for fun and a different take on the scriptures I use the Message or the Living Bible. Both put a slant on things that help me catch the principle or essence of a passage.

  52. Steve, Here is an easy one for you buddy…..how is your fantasy football team doing this year? SuperBowl aspirations?-Tony

  53. “I for one welcome our new (x) overlords” is an obscure geek reference dating back to a Simpsons episode where Homer said of an invading space alien insect race, “I for one welcome our new insect overlords.” It’s become a catch-phrase for capitulating to power. So, in the context of Saddleback, it’s giving in to the megachurch movement. Just a joke, really.

  54. Have you ever left a church of your own free will, and how did you explain yourself to those (both within that church or just other christians) who wanted to know why you left?

  55. QUESTION #10 from Brandon: <>Why do you and Josh resort to humor with a homosexual subtext in your programs?<>Resort? Resort? That could be taken two ways. To resort to something could mean a) to turn to or adopt an undesirable approach to something or b) to take the route you have chosen before any other path is attempted.I don’t know Brandon. We are sophomoric. We are idiots. We are two guys sitting around and we spend a lot of time together so it usually ends up in some crazy conversations and that bleeds over to the show. That’s no excuse, but for some reason we just go there… habit most likely. Also, there is a lot of homosexual subtext with my life right now if you would like to honestly know…but I will leave it at that.Read question #6 if you wonder what I think about the gay community and Christianity in general.Oh… and I should add one reason might be that I know for a fact that Josh has an incredible crush on me…so what’s a guy to do! (See I can’t stop!)

  56. I’m grilling up some hot dogs, zecry… you like mustard?Chad< HREF="http://www.mrpreacher.com" REL="nofollow">mrpreacher.com<>

  57. “Now, the stupid church people, they don’t seem to have the same amount of grace.”Who are this Stupid Church People you are trying to offend after one beer to many? 😉I assume that you are not these “Stupid Church People”.I just started going to church just this last year. I had not gone to church for at least 15 years. Before I gave up on church, I when into some bad ones, lost family members to cults, I watched as they lost their children for a time because of their faith. I stayed out of the church, didn’t read the Bible, but believed in Jesus on faith alone. In fear of Christian bashing, I became a “closet christian” (not the gay kind) God opened my eyes and made it important for me to go public with my faith in Christ. The best way to do this for me was to be baptized in a church. To do this I had to find a good church, I feel like it is the right place for me on a Sunday morning, right now.

  58. QUESTION #8 from Chad:<>Do you think the “c”hurch as we know it will have to be completely repainted to become productive again?<>You know Chad, I am not sure what you mean by “repainted” but here’s my opinion on the church and what might need to take place or actually what might take place.First, I am just tired of the way the Pastors role is viewed within the church. We as church attenders have abdicated our spiritual roles and rights to the pastors in our congregations. We go to church to be fed, to be motivated, to be inspired, to feel good, to be enthused, to learn….all of which we expect will come from the stage on any given Sunday.We put so many roles on the Pastor… he becomes a quasi CEO/Office Manager/HR Director/Fund Developer/Recruiter. That’s our fault because our expectations our high.But it is also the Pastors fault. Pastors accept these jobs and then try to be all things to all people so they might not offend any…and in the process win none. Many are neutered, weak and ineffective yet with an extreme amount of “virtual power”. Pastors need to take back their role as shepherds. Congregations need to fire their pastors as CEO’s and ask them just to love them as people not numbers.Secondly, and along those same lines, I think people should stop going to church as a habit. I think we need to take our time that we spend in church and not be so “committed” to that institution and transfer that time and energy into being “committed” to our own spiritual nurture. Read books and the Bible, write, journal, spend time alone and with our families. Look for ways to nurture and build relationships with those at work or in our communites that do not go to church. I think Pastors ought to cancel church once a month and encourage people to not come as often, but to do something else. The church shouldn’t plan any alternative forms of gatherings and watch what happens. People would figure out a way to naturally gather with those they enjoy sharing company with on those weekends. They might start Bible Studies on their own, or just hang out with each other at the parks or beaches. Who knows what would happen.I could go on but you would hate me, but let me just say that I think the church does not need another reformation or revolution… I think it needs a cataclysm. It needs an upheaval, a complete overhaul of methods, ideas, and structures.But then again, I am just an observer, what do I know.

  59. QUESTION #15 from Laura: <>What’s your favorite memory or feeling about being a dad so far?<>Aaaahhh… what a great, great question. Letting me brag about being a dad is the way to my heart Laura. Thanks for asking. Actually, I have probably given this more thought than any of the other questions asked thus far.There are so many. Obviously the birth of my first son is a great memory. It was freaking amazing to be a part of that experience. Of course with your first you are hyper-sensitive to everything and every emotion…good stuff. When the second one was born I actually was sitting there when hard labor started and the nurse said, “Dad, you want to do something here!” However, his birth was no less amazing and moving for us.You know the greatest feeling as a Dad is when the kids are about three years old, and you drive up in the driveway, and the garage door opens… and they come running out of the house and are screaming and laughing, “Daddy’s home, Daddy’s home”. Then you pick them up and swing them around…. kissing their soft little faces…. you know there’s nothing like that feeling in the world.

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