079 – Learning How to Listen (With Seth Price)

Learning how to listen. Talking about deconstruction. Exploring the many facets of faith.

What does it mean to listen? To stop talking and take the time to hear other people around us? Why is it so hard? What if we gaver people a chance to share their hearts and instead of judging their motives, tried to truly understand where they came from and where they are at. Now that would be live giving. 

This week, we are talking with Seth Price, the creator and host of the podcast, “Can I Say This At Church?”. We cover a handful of topics from decnstruction and staying involved in church, hell, doubt, and of course, learning to listen. 

There is a reason we are told to be slow to speak and quick to hear. People are willing to share their stories and their heart so long as there is a nonjudgmental ear waiting to listen. Seth does an amazing job of this and shows us how to break through our preconceived notions of others by giving their voice validity and meaning.

View Transcription (by Otter.ai)

Elaine Johnston 1:21
Hey, everyone, welcome to the reckless pursuit. My name is Elaine. And my name is Cody. And this week, we’re talking with Seth price of the Can I say this in church podcast?

Cody Johnston 1:31
Yeah. So Seth, I’ve met him through a mutual Facebook group, I believe. And I don’t even know, like I said, I think we actually talked about a little bit about this in the recording. But I remember if it was like the artwork, or if it was something he had said, or maybe it was a comment he posted on something I made, but maybe it’s a title. Yeah. So it’s stuck. I probably was it honestly, because like, That’s like my all the time question, or was my all the time question is What am I gonna get in trouble for for saying, Yeah, whenever I was in church, so it was probably that, and yeah, so I went listen to a show. And it’s honestly, and I do mean this sincerely. It’s one of the few faith based podcasts that I actually listened to. And that’s saying something because most of them drive me up the wall. So, Seth, and can I say this in church, along with Austin, a new age, Christianity, and then a couple others, but there, it’s very select. And so Seth is an awesome guy, we actually got to talk with him, scheduling, he was able to be very lenient with us his schedule, he’s more of an evening recorder. We’re more of a morning record, we finally got it worked out. We got him here. And we covered pretty much like, we were all everywhere, all the topics like so what all was it was deconstruction construction, how the LGBT q plus community questioning church just everything. So if you’ve ever wondered, can I say this in church? Yeah, you should probably listen to this every episode. And before we get into it, a quick reminder, guys, we want to keep this conversation going. We have a private Facebook community, nomads a safe community for Christians to ask unsafe questions. And we want to invite you to join Seth also has a Facebook community stick around to the end of this episode to catch that. And also, if you’re not on our email list, Seth had an amazing final five, just giving advice on how to be a better listener. Because really, to me, that is Seth strong point is giving people a platform and just really just giving a room for them to be able to express themselves. And he’s just an amazing listener. So head over to the reckless pursuit, calm forward slash subscribe or head to the show notes section below, find that link, get on our email list that will be coming out to you. But without further ado, let’s get right to this conversation with Seth price. The host of Can I say this at church? We we’re here with Seth price. The founder podcast host of Can I say this at church? Seth, how are you?

Seth Price 4:05
I’m good. How are you? I’m doing

Cody Johnston 4:06
well. So we’re sitting here recording this locally our time right now. It is 8:46pm. And we’re used to doing morning interviews. So we’re going to see how this goes on our end. But your your event to doing afternoon or evening interviews?

Seth Price 4:21
Yeah, yeah. So anything so I live? I live I live late night, so why not?

Cody Johnston 4:26
Yeah. So we can trust that you’ll be able to carry the conversation if we start?

Unknown Speaker 4:32
Sure, why not?

Cody Johnston 4:33
So Seth, I came to know of your show, I assume through a mutual group. I think that is where I got to know you through a friend of a friend a mutual group that we’re in for podcasting. And I don’t, I don’t even remember exactly what drew me to your show. I don’t know if it was like the cool lettering on your, your, your podcast graphic. I don’t know if it was something you had said or what was your show is one of the very few podcasts, Christian podcasts or religious however you want to say that podcasts that I actually listened to. So props on that, because I’m very selective on which ones, most of them drive me up the wall. So I really just want to start what got you into podcasting? And I guess just kind of bring us up to speed on that. Sure.

Seth Price 5:23
Well, thank you for that. And it’s probably the lettering I doubt it was anything that I had to say. Maybe it was but it’s probably the lettering, which has a story also its own but in what got me into podcasting, so after the Charlottesville, Heather higher, got ran over by a car few years ago, you know, and talking about with the United the right rally here in Charlottesville, Virginia,

Cody Johnston 5:48
I believe I remember hearing about it.

Seth Price 5:51
So there was a bunch of people wanting to bring down Stonewall Jackson, a bunch of others Civil War era, Jim Crow did statues and a lot of people didn’t like that. And it became like a mecca of Mecca is a bad word became a big meeting place of a lot of political tension. And then someone from Ohio drove a Dodge Charger through a crowd and killed someone. And, and so right after that, I had a lot of friends. I have a lot of friends. But a few of my friends one lives in Charlottesville, I live right outside Charlottesville and others in South Carolina, to college together. And we decided we wanted to talk about that. And no one else volunteered to edit the show. And I realized it was never going to get out unless somebody edited it. So I did it and got a little bit better at it. And then as that show started to dwindle down, as you know, one of the hosts had a baby. And it was a hard to schedule times between the three different jobs. And I had the itch to talk about what I wanted to talk about and same small group, we often would have conversations about politics and religion and theology. We were doing it just just today. And so I took some of the conversations that I was having there. And like an idiot, put them on the internet for everybody to hear. But But yeah, so that’s kind of where that started.

Cody Johnston 7:15
So what was what is your history and I guess like the Christian faith circle,

Seth Price 7:21
I grew up my, when I was really little, my dad was a pastor, and then we moved to Texas. And he was no longer a pastor after that. Southern Baptists, although I think they broke off and became an independent Baptist. I’m a very fundamental funding, I always struggle with this word, fundamentalist evangelical, Baptist,

young earth creationists, no women in any form of leadership version of church in the middle of Western Texas.

And then that, you know, went all the way through and I went with bunch of friends from my high school to Liberty University here in Virginia, and then met my wife and never went back to Texas. Yeah.

Cody Johnston 8:10
It’s interesting, your show is probably one of the more diverse Christian podcasts I’ve ever heard. And I know a lot of people whenever, I don’t know, I have a weird stigma with Christian podcasts, we’re not even in the Christian category on like, we’ve removed ourselves from the Christian category, just because it was mostly crowded with churches, mega churches, and like, that’s the pre dominating. And it was, of course, like more of an SEO type thing for us. And so but it was also kind of like symbolism of like, Hey, we’re not just this normal, everyday thing. Well, one interesting thing about your show, and I guess I’m kind of fanboy in here a little bit, guys, definitely go check out his show. It’s an amazing show. And he says you do I don’t want to talk to the I’m talking to the audience here, I want to talk to you says, You did an amazing job of allowing people room to talk. And I really feel like that is just like, that’s a strength, because a lot of times we don’t know when to shut up. And so you just do an amazing job of allowing people freedom to express their stories. So what was it like coming from a very, like you said, hyper conservative, evangelical atmosphere growing up, and then coming in to a podcaster. I guess I’m sure there’s something along the way. I don’t know if deconstruction is the word or what, but something along the way, had your transition, right to say, hey, I want to hear all these different perspectives. What was that? And what’s that been like?

Seth Price 9:34
Yeah, well, it was easy when I was in that bubble, especially at Liberty. But as I graduated from college and realize that the life didn’t, well, that the world didn’t work the way that the church said that it did. And then as I got further and further away from that, and I realized that people wanted to talk about being the church, but never actually did any work of the church, there was no ministry, there was no love, there was no gospel. And I mean, as we were joking earlier, I kind of go all in on things. And so as I started digging more in, I realized most people present company included, you know, at least here in my house was just way too hypocritical. And so I was either not going to do it at all, or I was going to figure out a way to do it as honestly as possible. And so yeah, I deconstructed everything, like I basically, I wrote a list of 15 things I had issues with, I started in Genesis with creationism, or younger creation. And then after that, I went to the virgin birth, whether or not that even should matter. And it just kept going from topic to topic. And then I took those notes. And that’s what became the podcast. But that’s also the fodder that became the conversations with my friends. Not Facebook conversations, like, you know, real conversations with my friends. Um, but yeah, you’re right. My faith is shifted quite a bit. I tell people often, I’m thankful for the time that I went to liberty. But I could not go back there at all. Not because I disagree with their theology, but because I disagree with the way that they practice it. Yeah.

Elaine Johnston 11:13
Did you receive like any backlash from friends and family from your deconstruction?

Unknown Speaker 11:18

Unknown Speaker 11:21
I get backlash, still weekly,

Seth Price 11:25
sometimes daily, but I’m beginning to not care if that makes any sense. So like, I’m realizing what I tell someone the other day. I see. A lot of it is a stupid Facebook reminders that pop up. And it will be like, here’s what you said 10 years ago, and I’ll read that, like, did I, oh, man, I hate those

Cody Johnston 11:47
really much.

Seth Price 11:48
I really, this doesn’t sound like me. And so I’m, I’m realizing that I am further along in my face, then other people are and I’m way further behind than other people are. And if someone is happy in their little spot, and they feel comfortable there, I’m not interested in making them uncomfortable. I don’t want to argue with anyone. So I’ve gotten to where I just delete the emails that are offensive. Sometimes I respond back and be like, appreciate you taking the time to write, or, you know, with my dad, we have phone conversations or that type of stuff, or close friends or close family, actually, here we go. So here’s an example. So I was watching the Democratic presidential debates when we were on vacation at my wife’s grandfather’s house. And we got to talk about homosexuality and this and the other. And then he gave me a package at the end that basically said, you know, here is, here is what the Bible, the Word of God says about homosexuality. And there’s like 27 pages of printed off work that came just from a random website on the internet. And he handed it to me and said, you know, wrestle with this, hopefully, you’ll come to realize that you’re holding views that are wrong. And so I wrote him a letter back instead of calling them just actually wrote him a letter back then it turned into like, 16 handwritten pages of, here’s all the text, here’s all the text that you gave me. I don’t really like that you implied that I haven’t given this a lot of thought. And so let’s talk about this. Actually mailed that on Friday, I sat on it for for about a month. Because I didn’t. It’s my wife’s family. But I also will see him at Christmas. And I would rather not argue about it again.

Cody Johnston 13:34
What has been the hardest thing for you going through deconstruction, since we’re talking about deconstruction and all?

Seth Price 13:39
Oh, gosh, um, hardest thing for me, probably still going to church, throughout the whole thing, like I never stopped going to church. That’s probably the hardest thing.

Cody Johnston 13:49
I was interest. I didn’t want to bring that up without your permission here. But, you know, I guess I kind of realized in some of our conversations that you still attended church. I don’t know that interests me. Because I know a lot of people who go through deconstruction completely walk away or walk away for a season or it changes. And so what is it like? Still going to church through deconstruction? How do they handle some of your views? Do they know your views? What’s your primary, I don’t have like 1000 questions for that. Because I feel like before I, before I turn it over, I feel like there’s a group of people who deconstruct inside themselves, but they still go to church and don’t talk about it. And then there’s the people who walk away from church and are very outspoken about it. But I feel like you’re like an enigma and this that I’m excited for that because you are both outspoken about it, at least online, which is as public as you can get it right. And you still attend church. So I just I want to know, all there is to know about that.

Seth Price 14:49
So a, I feel like I go to a relatively healthy church that will allow people to do that.

Then I know that that’s not the case. Like I see so many stories of people questioning really anything and then getting kicked out of the church. My Church really isn’t interested in. Our church staff isn’t interested in that. But we also have a relatively young church staff, our senior pastor, our children’s pastor, and our youth pastor all relatively my age, within a few years, it’s just our worship minister that’s a little bit older. And he’s also entirely on board. So that’s helpful to be at a church that isn’t necessarily interested in being right is more interested in you just being in community. But it’s also just, I mean, just honestly, it’s it’s easy to fake being a Christian, if you’ve been if you grew up in the church, so Oh, yeah. I mean, the reason I kept going is because my family was going to go anyway, with or without me, and I would like to be a part of that. And you know what I mean, it’s easy enough to fake the answers. And then, you know, leading worship at the church, like I just really liked doing that. And I, whether or not I had any logic or belief behind words at the time, like, I just really liked doing it. And other people seem to like it. And so why would I not doing anything else Sunday morning. I mean, that’s where my friends are. Those are the people that we do life with, because a lot of circles mine included, if you detach yourself from the church, you really need community to fall back on. I’m not going to have fun with the people that I work with. So you know, it didn’t seem healthy to to isolate myself from everything.

Cody Johnston 16:31
That’s it. So you’re a worship pastor. Did I catch that right?

Seth Price 16:34
No, are you a worship pastor? I just happened to sing into the microphone. Okay, very cool. But I’m not pestering anybody.

Cody Johnston 16:43
Yeah. Very cool. So I was a, I’ve been on worship teams and worship pastor my entire, which isn’t, I understand in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t that long, but my entire life, right, since I was a teenager, so I didn’t realize we had that in common. Very cool. I understand. I understand completely, there’s a, there’s an interview GA about it in a drive about us, it is very magical, whenever everyone just connects, you know, with one unified objective, or what hopefully would be one unified objective. So I completely understand that. I know a lot of people struggle with that very thing with community. That was a huge thing for us. And, you know, we haven’t, we don’t necessarily have a home church. But we haven’t walked away from church completely. We have kind of a more of a nomadic approach to church right now. And there’s churches we visited. And sometimes like this morning, we took our Sabbath yesterday. So we did a bunch of nothing yesterday and actually relaxed, but our work, everything right now, just our schedules crazy. So we knew today we had to work. So it was kind of we just read to ourselves. So we kind of have like a more of a shuffled around approach to church. But what’s the advice? What advice do you have to someone who may be is looking for a church to still be a part of even though they’re going through deconstruction? What is some advice on some healthy attributes to look for in a church just kind of off the bat?

Seth Price 17:58
I’m full health yesterday was slow for in a church way. I don’t know that I’m qualified to answer this. But I’ll try. But what I would say that is healthy about what I see is healthy about our church is we give away a lot of money intentionally, to other parts of our community, with no expectation of them coming, becoming members tightening back to the church, and we just give away money. And so I would make that the first thing, oddly enough, I do banking for a living. So that’s probably why. But that strikes me but I’m not interested in a church that wants to hoard things. Because they’ll also hoard everything, not just money. They’ll hoard ideas, they’ll hoard people to hoard programs, even if they don’t work, which I think a healthy church also, you know, things don’t work. We’ve been doing it for 20 years, the same way, just let it die. Because without that death, there’s nothing new that ever gets birth, like you have to till the soil every once in a while. Yeah, so a church gives away its resources. Well, and a church that allows things to stop being a thing, which I know is frustrating, because there’s always that person in the back of the church like, but we’ve done this, my dad started this, this is what we do. It’s not an

Elaine Johnston 19:17

Cody Johnston 19:20
So you do money for a living. And so that makes that brings up an interesting point in my head. One of the things I’ve heard, that causes a lot of damage to people that go, they end up going through deconstruction is the idea of tithing and giving, and just that fear of hoarding resources and churches not being honest. I don’t really know what the question is to that. But do you have any comments or remarks to someone who’s had those thoughts? I mean, don’t feel guilty about tithing or not tithing. tithing is barely biblical. But

Seth Price 19:56
I mean, I understand the thought process behind it. But the way that most churches preach on tithing is really bad things. guys think bad hermeneutics. The church needs to do something with it worthwhile. That’s more than just staffing and buildings, and structures and HPC. Like all that stuff matters. So you can’t have programs. But I mean, you’re just thinking of the way that the church in the Bible gives, you know, so there are people that own the fields that don’t allow the stuff that falls when they glean like that as a form of tie, like they’re giving of their resources to the community that there’s the one that breaks open only met the oil there, you know, on Jesus, which done the math was at 300, and something dinar and that’s like, $58,000 worth is what she gave like that that stuff was that expensive. And then you got people that give whatever they can give. all that really matters is the reason that you’re giving. And then I think for the church, and the people, you know, in leadership in the church, how you spend that money matters. But I would never ask anyone to type, if you can afford to, if it’s going to put your family in a bad situation. But I also am very aware. I mean, shoot my pastor one time at our church, we were talking about, what are we talking about? We’re talking about tithing, and it will it made its way to that. And he basically said, you know, the poverty level where we live is like 29%, most people live this many thousands of dollars between the median income. I know the average income of most people in this church. And it was a very large amount is like so we just actually all did what we say we would do as a church and maybe ties an actual percentage. We could just redistribute the wealth here in the city that we live in, and there wouldn’t be poverty. He’s like, that’s just our church. And then he’s like, I hear you, in the back of your mind going, Well, that’s socialism. He’s like, You’re not mad at me. You’re mad at something else. And it’s not me. But yeah, it’s it’s, I don’t have an issue of tithing. Man. I’m tired today. But I just put it on autopilot. But to be honest, Cody, like I, I also liked it as a tax write off. So. So there’s that but but yeah, if your church getting tithes, or if you’re someone giving your tithes to a church, make sure that they’re doing something better with it, then like Kiwanis would do, or the Lions Club would do make sure that the church is doing something with it? And if not take it away.

Cody Johnston 22:19
Yeah. Yeah, that’s good. Thank you for that. So kind of transitioning here a little bit back to your podcast, and your deconstruction. So for one, let me ask this. When did you start deconstruction on? Oh, if you said that, or if I caught it at like, kind of what is that related to the point of your podcast starting?

Seth Price 22:37
Probably started deconstructing. 2000, late 2008 2009.

Yeah, which so ended podcast started, what? Over a decade later. So basically, when I started, you, my wife and I, were going to have our, our firstborn, my, my, my son was born. Now don’t deal with emotion. And, you know, compound things of sleep deprived, you know, stress in a marriage, because that’s what kids do. emotions, that I’m not comfortable with a view that the role of father and mother is different, you know, all that there’s just too many things at one time, which I know is a very common story. A lot of people, you know, children change everything. And religion and faith should be no different. But, but yeah, so that 2008 2009, somewhere in there. Okay.

Elaine Johnston 23:27
So what are some key things that you’ve learned over the period of, can I say this at church podcast?

Seth Price 23:33
That I don’t know, all that much and right, when I think that I do, I learned something else. But I’m also learning and it came from a past guests. You know, after that we stopped recording. I’m also learning the better practice of stopping learning for a season, like not constantly trying to take in new knowledge, if that makes any sense, just instead of bouncing from one topic to the next to the next to the next. Now, because one thing that I’m finding is I refuse to interview someone, if I haven’t read the text that we’re going to talk about and full. I find that disingenuous and just possibly wasteful of their time to fake it, because I feel like you can tell if it’s faked. But yeah, I’ve also learned that I am not the biggest thing I probably learned is what I thought was a handful of people is a massive community, you know, people all over the planet that are in the exact same spot as me. Which is, is life giving to not be not feel so alone. Yeah,

Cody Johnston 24:33
for sure. What’s been some of your favorite interviews or favorite things you’ve talked about?

Seth Price 24:38
Let’s see favorite interviews. So that answer probably changes. Every week, everyone, I’m going yeah. So I will say, I don’t know that I can say some of my favorite interviews. So I’ll give you some of my favorite guests that I’ve had on. So Alexander shy is probably my favorite person that I’ve interviewed and has been probably the most impactful. Author, last theologians, friend, and we text and chat constantly not phone call, whenever we can. Who else? Let’s see, Paul Thomas was fantastic to talk about because just his life experiences were great. Derek Webb was really on the list of Yes, this was fantastic.

Cody Johnston 25:18
So with that, what are some of the hardest topics that you’ve, you’ve touched on in the history of your podcast?

Seth Price 25:25
So every time I talk about LGBT q issues, that’s always hard, because it’s just hard. I don’t, I can’t, I can’t relate as well as I would want to, like I can relate to someone that believes a certain type of theology, because I may have believed it in the past. But that’s just not an avenue of life that I relate to easily. So I have to intentionally Be really careful with the questions and the way that I’ve posed the questions. So as to not appear to be a bigot, because I definitely am not one. And I don’t want to be one. That I also one of my so this is another favorite episode, but it’s a hard topic. So I talked about sex trafficking and the church’s complicity in it with the lead singer of remedy Dr. David Zach, which that was hard, really hard, but also a topic that matters.

Cody Johnston 26:12
So we have a kind of a series coming up on the LGBT q plus. Really just about the church’s perspective on it.

Elaine Johnston 26:24
People of that community better.

Cody Johnston 26:26
Yeah. So I know that this is, like you said, it’s a topic that’s harder for you to relate to. But what are just a couple tips, and this is really just kind of a nugget for people who are going to stick through it. We have that series in September. But what are some key tips leading in that to prep some people’s minds

Seth Price 26:44
for understanding and giving voice to people with that community? So to prep people’s minds in that community, or the people listening that are going to go like no, I don’t? Like which loves the second second? Yeah. So a I would say, Don’t fast forward and hit Feel free to hit pause when you need to. And feel free to also fact check on the fly. Like, that’s the nice thing about a podcast, like if some if a guest says something, or if y’all say something, you don’t take my word for it, or yours, like you can just hit pause and see if it’s true. Like I recently had Brandon Robertson on and in his book, he said, and this wasn’t on the episode, but in his book, he’s talking about, you know, there’s some Greek words that people will take, you know, that Paul wrote to, to bash the ability for people to be homosexual, and etc. And then he basically said, He’s like, no, there’s, there’s like 28 words that actually mean that and either a derogatory way, a specific way, or slang way, and none of those words were used. So we’re taking this one word that was used one time. And then there’s only other used one other time, I think, in the history of text. And it was a civil Oracle in Rome, quoting Paul. So you know, that’s, that’s option one. So feel free to hit pause, and take as much time as you need to get through it. Because it is. It’s a big topic. And it’s always uncomfortable, because it’s so not different. But it’s so I feel like the generation that we live in now talks easier around that topic than any other generation before. But their family doesn’t. And so there’s always those eggshells that you’re going to walk on. And then the second is, you need to always make sure that whatever theological topic you’re listening to, or hearing about, view it through a lens of a Jesus hermeneutics. And so if, if something doesn’t sit, right, you practice something like elect to Divina or whatever, insert yourself into the text, watch Jesus from the margins as you pray, what would his posture be to whoever happens to be marginalized? Because we already have examples of that in the gospels of who’s marginalized? And what’s his posture? And then relate that to today?

Cody Johnston 28:58
Yeah, that’s really good. So shifting gears back and focusing, and I was a little off topic. So shifting gears back to more of deconstruction, and just just your show, and all that you’ve been through? What are some of the things or philosophies or beliefs that have caused you the most doubt?

Seth Price 29:17
The most down?

Cody Johnston 29:20
Or have you ever struggled with Dell?

Seth Price 29:22
No, I definitely struggle with down and just trying to think of the most down. So I would say, in Aaron, see back in the beginning was a big deal. I don’t really struggle with it at all. And now because I think I had the wrong definition of what an errand segment. And then I also now, so what I struggle with the most now is I’m always afraid that what I think I’m reading is true, because they don’t feel like I have enough of, I’m realizing so much how much culture and the history of the ancient Near East matter to the people that wrote the words like for, and I just don’t have enough background or history in that. So it takes longer to read scripture for me now, or to dig into scripture, because I’ve got all this other digging to do. And for example, if you and I are going to transcript this thing, and this somehow becomes scripture, people 1000 years from now we’re going to have to work up whatever going to have to figure out what the heck I mean, when I referenced the word Snapchat, and why that even matters, or if that’s really just a good word, or a bad word, or a made up word from that one time that Cody and Seth and Elaine said something in a podcast. But I’m realizing how much culture I don’t understand. And so that causes me a lot of doubt, and self doubt of, of, of knowing whether or not what I’m reading is, is valid.

Cody Johnston 30:40
Yeah, that’s really good. I like that. I think that we could all benefit from taking some time to understand context. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves. It drives me crazy. I gotta stay off Facebook, whenever that kind of stuff comes up.

Seth Price 30:53
The part of context that gets me is when people take one verse or half of a verse, and they just throw that in there. I’m like, you can’t. People don’t talk in one sentences, you get one sentence does not scripture make like you can’t just that’s what this means. No, it doesn’t.

Cody Johnston 31:09
I had a status I posted. I don’t know we could go. And it was I don’t really think it was that challenging. It was saying we’re not born sinners is kind of the gist of it is like, we had a podcast coming and talking about like, lies we’ve like come to believe about sin or whatever. And one of the things we’re talking about is how we’re born into a nature of sin, where we have a choice now on how we choose to live our lives, but we’re not necessarily born sinners, right? The whole thing of like, we’re nothing but filthy rags we come into this world is, is just like, we’re sinners because of our parents sins or what have you. And that’s not something I personally believe anymore. I just don’t see that as very life giving. I don’t really use that scripture early even. And someone was throwing verses in Romans, Romans five or 324, or 524, whichever one it is. And literally, the very next verse says the can opposite like literally both of those things. If you read through them, it’s like, Hey, we were this, but now we’re not born into that. It literally says it. I’m like, why do we just cherry pick the I’m sorry, I can get really, really upset on that one quick because we do that very exactly what you said. We sniffed things out of the middle of it.

Seth Price 32:17
I put Romans in that letter that I sent to my wife’s grandfather, because he was critical because some of the clever passages are from Romans, to which I then try to lay out the context of So if you’ll go back to the first little missives that Paul writes in Romans, we basically says, Hey, all you really smart people that are throwing around your knowledge to beat people down, stop doing that, if you could stop doing that, and then he goes on into talking about everything else. And I’m like, that’s what you’re doing, bro. Stop it.

Yes, yeah. cut you off. Elaine, what was your question? Oh,

Elaine Johnston 32:50
I was gonna say, what are some things that you’ve struggled with saying in church kind of playing off your podcast? What are some things that you you have struggled with question turning outwardly to other people?

Seth Price 33:03
Oh, yeah. So what is truth is probably a big one. Man fact I just did. So today I miss Sunday school, we were teaching. We’re teaching the youth because my youth pastors on vacation. So I wife and our teaching, and actually said, you know, they were talking about the, you know, the, which which part is, you know, the breastplate of righteousness and the belt of this and that whatever, it is a truth. I can’t remember what it is right now. And it’s just, we really missed your input. And I was like, did you though, because I’m trying to get my input. It seems to get a bit tense. She’s like, Yeah, but your input is needed. So yeah, probably, you know, just what is truth is a big thing. Anytime. So I live in the south. So racism is constantly in there. And then really, also, lately, is politics. And actually, no, not lately, because it was just as hard to talk about politics with the prior President, as it is with this president. Yeah, so politics and love of Empire, were racism. And then just epistemology to use a fancy word, but the truth?

Cody Johnston 34:04
What are some things right now that you are working through or struggling with, or that is challenging you because I know that you have mentioned in passing before, and it shows you’re doing an amazing job of giving other people a chance to speak, but I want to give you a chance to speak here. So what are some things that you’re currently faced with?

Seth Price 34:22
So currently, I am face what I’m working through is I want to talk to people of other faiths without figuring out how to lose the core people that listen to the show. But I’m realizing that there’s truth in you know, there’s truth in the Quran, there’s going to be truth in the Buddhist texts and in the Hindu texts. And so I began studying a lot of those other books, and reading some of those other authors and shying away from some Christian authors, which has really been fun, but also infuriating, because I realize how much more context I don’t have. So like I’m spending the rest of this year only reading books on the Muslim faith, like only reading books on Islam. And I plan to work that all like like for Christmas, I plan to, to view Christmas through the eyes of a Muslim, like how does a Muslim view the Christian Christmas,

Cody Johnston 35:19
but I’m entirely certain that that will probably break the show. But I don’t really care. It’s what interests me. And so that’s what I’m going to do. I started reading the Quran this year, because I got tired of everyone quoting it at me from the Christians perspective saying, Look, don’t you know, the Quran says this or says that. And I’m like, you know, I’ve never actually heard a single Muslim person ever declare this. So I’m going to try to read it for myself. So it’s laying on my desk right now, it’s been put on the back burner to another bigger book that I’m trying to work.

Seth Price 35:52
which honestly, that’s why I find that faith impressive. Like, I’m sure that there are those that Bible Beat, beat towards other circle, none of the Muslims that I know ever do that there’s some of the most compassionate people that I know. And I would like to learn how to emulate that. And so I don’t know if it’s culture. I don’t know if it’s the religion. I don’t know if it’s all that mixed together. But I know that it’s interesting. That is not mean. And for those listening, that know me, that is not me, and I am any more or less in love with Jesus than I was this morning. But there’s a lot of truth there. And then I’m also digging into a book right now on the scenes, which is a sect of ancient Israel that I just know nothing about. And I haven’t dug enough into it yet to even really talk well about it. But it’s about that and the Dead Sea Scrolls and how that has impacted. The church proper. Just been so far. Pretty, pretty fun to read.

Cody Johnston 36:50
Yeah, that sounds awesome. I picked up a book on the Dead Sea Scrolls two weeks ago. So

Seth Price 36:55
the name of the book is Jesus in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and it’s upstairs. I can’t remember the name of the author. To save my life. One more thing, Elaine, that makes people uncomfortable is when I talk about hell. Yeah. Because I refuse to tell people what I believe usually. But I’ll always say I don’t believe in eternal conscious torment. But I find it’s, it’s infuriating for people because they don’t be the question. Well, why did Jesus died on the cross then? Or they’re just like, well, you’re just blasphemy. Like, obviously, you just haven’t read the Bible. And I’m like,

Can we talk? Can we sit down? We actually coffee and talk? Yeah,

Elaine Johnston 37:34
it’s worse on Facebook, especially. Whenever I don’t. anymore.

Seth Price 37:40
book I like when people say, Well, what are you trying to say? I don’t know. What do you think I’m trying to say?

Elaine Johnston 37:44

Cody Johnston 37:46
interpreted how you will? Because that’s what most of us do anyway. Yeah. Oh, we just had a conversation about that. That was our that was when this airs, there’ll be two episodes. two episodes help. But yeah, on hell. How did that go? It went well. I’m excited about it. Because I don’t know, I guess I didn’t really voice too much, in my opinion of help. But hills, one of the big areas that I deconstructed pretty heavily. It’s kind of interesting, because I was talking with my father about it. Just a week ago, we were sitting at work, and I was talking with him. And I was explaining to him some of my beliefs. He’s like, Oh, yeah, that’s how I’ve always kind of viewed it. And I was like, Okay, this is random, then how did I grow up? Not here. Yeah. So

Unknown Speaker 38:30
why did we not talk about this?

Cody Johnston 38:33
So it was kind of fun. But you know, I don’t really necessarily believe in eternal torture is burning pit either. And so I’m interested to see how it goes. Luckily, I’m getting someone else was brave enough to talk about it. And I’m sure I’m going to get plenty of backlash from it. But that’s

Seth Price 38:49
kind of the usual, but you said you did say what you believed on that?

Cody Johnston 38:54
I don’t remember if I did or not, you could do it. I know. I will say. So. I’m actually going a torn. I’d like to hear Okay, if I if I’m going to have to say you’re gonna have to say something to okay. Okay, cool. So I’m torn right now I don’t believe in in hell, the way most people do. The way I view it is Jesus was either speaking of when Israel was burned, literally. Or he was referencing how you would be tossed out because it was referencing the garbage pit right to Hannah, is that the right word? I believe so. And so, I don’t believe in natural lake of fire. I’m torn between the idea of either if you’re an atheist and a Christian, you’re right. And so basically, if you’re not a believer of Christ, like your soul kind of dissipates. Maybe it’s like, I don’t know if that’s the right word for that. Or I believe in some form of purgatory and eternal reconciliation, or like universalism. And so that scares the crap out of me when you use the word universalism. But whenever you whenever you realize that the culture Jesus grew out of that was actually kind of a common belief that you would go through some kind of like what fiery fire some kind of purifying fire that would either consume your soul or would purify you, so you can make it back to the Father that wasn’t that far fetched. So I’m leaning towards that one. But I’m not opposed to the idea of just, I guess, someone’s soul dissipating, either. I don’t know. I just, I view the work of the Cross is covering a little more than we like to make it out to be.

Seth Price 40:37
Atlanta, you comfortable answering?

Elaine Johnston 40:39
Me? I don’t really. I don’t really have an answer. I mean, I’m kind of with Cody. Like, I don’t I don’t really know, you know, I was always taught like, it’s, you know, burning like a fire? And if and if, like the, was it? The, the one sin was then part of

Cody Johnston 40:57
part of the Empire rules? Yeah.

Elaine Johnston 40:58
We’re like, if you deny Christ, and you’re going to hell and stuff. But other than that, like, I don’t really believe that necessarily, but I don’t really know what I believe about hell right now, I’m just kind of like, open to the different ideas of it. But I do. I think I’m like Cody, where I’m considering of like, maybe, eventually, we will all make it back to Jesus is kind of where I’m at right now. But I don’t have like a definitive answer for how I feel. I haven’t studied it enough.

Cody Johnston 41:31
So So where are you?

Seth Price 41:32
So I go back and forth. But I find the most comfort in home in in this. And so I’m going to use these words intentionally. So I want to say when Jesus the Christ talks about how it’s almost always a metaphor, and by almost always, I mean, always a metaphor, which is why it matters, or the way I use Snapchat earlier matters. Like it’s always a metaphor. And I think you can make a good hermeneutics case for either universalism, or for what I’ll call conditional immortality, which would be some form of annihilation ism. I don’t know that I like universalism. Because if I can think of Okay, so here we go. So I’ll use an example. I think I’ve used this in the show, and I’m sure I stole it from somebody else, because there’s not in any original thought, really. So if I think of someone, let’s take Hitler, for example, because it’s easy to pick on, I hate the Jews. And you’re going to tell me that I have to spend eternity bowing down to the Lamb of God, that is a Jew? Don’t you know that I run this, like, I don’t want to be here. Why would you make me be here? And I don’t see how that’s loving. Although there’s a part of me that logically thinks that maybe someone could change their mind, but, or that can be that personal. Fair enough. And then so what I what I tend to think is that, you know, everywhere that it says eternal, eternal. in Scripture, I believe that it means the word eternal, in a finite way. So help us do either one of two things. It’s either that you know, penalty for sin is death, and that when you die, you cease to be you no longer exist. Because I don’t believe that people are born with an immortal soul. I believe that Christ, not necessarily Jesus Christ. I think Jesus is the embodiment of Christ on earth. But Christ existed before Jesus. Jesus is just the human form of Christ, which I know that will make some people go, What did he say? And that’s fine. Yes. So that’s why that’s why I use those words intentionally. So Christ Jesus is what is granting and mortality to anyone that is in shalom with God. But I don’t believe that’s ever going to be forced. And I also don’t think, in some form of omniscience, that he’s not going to understand whether or not people will ultimately say yes or no, what is the point of waiting for infinity for someone to say no, for infinity? It’s I think, if you choose not to not be there, which could be heaven, for someone that doesn’t want to be there, like I just don’t want to be at this party. Why would you make me be here? We all know that this sucks. I don’t want to be here. I’m glad that those people are having a good time. But I am not. It is not eternal conscious torment. And I find that a twisted dispensation lyst Darby Nelson, invented version, honestly, Western version, because I don’t you’re right, like a lot of like Jews, my friends that are Jewish, they don’t have a concept of hell, the way we do. It is always something purifying and refining. It’s really just our small little section of the planet. And the influence that we flex that does,

Cody Johnston 44:51
yeah, all of us that have it right, you know. And, you know, it’s interesting, something that kind of came up in my mind, something’s coming through I reading his almost like to throw a big word on. This is a thing out there. But it’s almost like conditional universalism is kind of, I don’t know, a balance of both. So I was reading in Romans, I want to say it’s 313 or 513. In the time, whenever I was kind of being thrown, people were throwing scripture at me. So I was going back and reading it for myself to see what they were saying. There’s a verse and it was either 313 year 513, that kind of, and I’m paraphrasing here that basically states where the ignorance of sin exists, judgment is not. And so I thought that a very interesting thing because I was always grown up like we have to evangelize, evangelize, evangelize, because that’s what saves people’s souls. If people don’t know about Christ, and they go to there, they’re going to go to hell, right. But that one verse kind of stood out to me, in essence, it’s like, where the ignorance of sin is like, judgment does not go there. And I know, I just kind of brought forth this idea of love to me, in Christ eyes, and this, almost the innocence of humanity that Christ tries to say, and us, I don’t know, where I’m going with that, as much as just to say like, that kind of gets thrown into this conversation as well, because we were talking with someone the other day, and they were telling us about how they heard a message preached that the sins of the parents is what killed their child. Or like their, their child, sir soul is going to burn because of their sins unless they repent, just as craziness. And I don’t know, I just I think that there’s so much with that, that we use that as just kind of this blunt object. I don’t

Elaine Johnston 46:30
know. Is it against people?

Cody Johnston 46:31
Yeah, it just gets,

Seth Price 46:33
you know, something that when so a lot of people will say that, you know, you know, I prayed hard and the cancer didn’t go away, or this happened or my mind, or some other trite thing. So what I like is something my pastor always says is, you know, God didn’t cause that. You didn’t cause that, God just going to sit there in it with you, and bear this suffering with you and love, but you didn’t cause and if anybody tells you that he did. They’re lying to you. 100% of the time, didn’t cause he’s just gonna sit here with you with it. which I love. Love a lot.

Cody Johnston 47:05
That’s good. So, Seth, final question, I guess, final question. kinda sorta, we technically have two more questions, but one of them is the question that you get to ask. So the last question we asked you, if you could say something that was being broadcast to every church across, I have the USA, I’m really kind of talking Western mindset here. Right? What would it be that you would say,

Seth Price 47:28
should have prepped me? Let’s see if I could say anything that would be broadcast to everyone. instantaneously in the Western Hemisphere.

Cody Johnston 47:36
Yeah. And the western church? On the church.

Seth Price 47:39
Yeah. I’m sorry that we made God so small.

Cody Johnston 47:42
Oh, that’s good.

Seth Price 47:44
I’m really sorry that we made God that small.

Elaine Johnston 47:46
Yeah. That’s gonna go on a quote card. I like that.

Seth Price 47:51
Well, good. I just made it up. But yeah, I find it truthful. I mean, if anything, I’ve learned God is so much bigger than how arrogant that we think that we’ve fit him down at our little Calvin this box or a little box or a little fundamentalist box or my little, whatever box I’m in right now. So much bigger.

Cody Johnston 48:07
Yeah. So we’d like to end our shows giving you the chance to ask the final question. You’re just talking about putting how he put God in a box. What is a question? If you were being broadcast to all these churches was a question that you would want to ask the leaders of churches across the USA, to help them maybe pull their mentality? Pull God out of that box?

Seth Price 48:31
What are you doing for my children to ensure that a church exists that matters when they’re your age? And I say it as that way on purpose? Like a church that matters? Not this building? Not this denomination, but a church, Big C church that matters? Like what are you doing? for my kids? Or for me, for my kids, to ensure that it matters? When my kids are a middle age pastor, or middle age period? That’s good. Which makes me like a

Cody Johnston 49:02
says where Can everyone find you and find Can I say this a church?

Seth Price 49:07
So you can find it at just Can I say this a church com. I’m fairly semi vocal on the internet, either at Facebook or Twitter, Twitter’s where you’ll get the real me the snarky sarcastic me, Facebook is the one that all the family read. So it’s, it’s probably more edited. I’m on Instagram. But basically, if you want to get in touch with me, anywhere, Canada, church com is probably the best place to get that or message the show on any of the platforms that it’s on. I find it takes all my free time. And I don’t do much with personal accounts anywhere anymore.

Cody Johnston 49:41
And you have a group as

Seth Price 49:42
well, right? I have a small Facebook group called Can I say this at church on this discussions, which is a very intentionally non troll ish, open community where people can question their faith. Or honestly then question anything or ask questions or ask for resources. And I like there is one someone, someone in the last five or six months had said, you know, she started talking about her being married as a lesbian, and her struggles with her parents, and she’d never typed it out loud anywhere, but she felt like it was a safe place to do. So there. And then you know, 10s of 20 people commenting back, like, appreciate you. You’re loved. You know, some, it’s probably one of my favorite places on the internet. It’s a closed group, you have to answer questions to get in. I had to add a moderator, because it’s gotten a little too much busy than what I can handle. But

I really like it.

Cody Johnston 50:42
Yeah. Very cool. And of course, everything that Seth does, and anywhere you can find, can I say this a church will be linked in the in the show notes. So you should go You should click it, you should subscribe and listen. Because his shows like I said, they do a fantastic. He says you do a fantastic job of giving people platform and just allowing people’s voices to rain. True. So I really appreciate that.

Seth Price 51:05
Can I ask you a question? Absolutely. So you had said that I have I guess a diverse or eclectic I forget the word. So what’s been the one that you were like, Hmm, I never considered that before. Or a guest or topic.

Cody Johnston 51:19
So okay, I’m going to be really like honest here. Your show is the show I listened to when I’m no, no, like I’m mow the grass, we have an acre and a quarter of land. And we live in Arkansas, and the grass just doesn’t stop. And it’s, you know, I used to live with my grandmother and she had bamboo in her backyard. And she said, If Hell is real, this were her quoting her words. She said, If Hell is real, it’s not a like a fire. It’s just everyday you go and cut bamboo. And you wake up the next day, and it’s back. And that’s how I feel about grass. So the only way to pass my time is I listened to longer like podcasts and years about same length as our sound like I can actually listen to it and encompasses the enough of my time, I really enjoyed your episode with Karl forehand was one of the episodes and it was the story of the tea shop. And I know he says that a lot. As I’ve gotten to know Karl a little bit better myself. But it was just that the authentic often authenticity of connection between two people who have nothing in common, who have not even a language in common, just the the realization of we’re all the same, we’re all created with that same piece of divinity. And so now was super, super empowering to me. And it just it shook my world. And the second one, it was a man who was, and you’ll probably know his name very quickly, he is an African American man who is part of the LGBT q plus group. And he was yes. And he had his story about being basically locked in a church. And like, kind of like being purged of this. You know, Cortana, quote, sin where basically the pastor after a year said, I have no idea what I’m doing. And just that shook me, because I was like, that is that is the epitome of how we behave as Christians and how damaging our behavior can be. And it was just it, it broke me, because his story of just really just kind of coming to true his own identity and who he was and feeling so lost, and so broken and being treated with so much disrespect as a human. And so those were the two that I think really stood out to me recently.

Unknown Speaker 53:35
Cool. Thanks. Just curious. So. Absolutely.

Cody Johnston 53:39
Seth, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for putting up with our night brains is we’re kind of growing accustomed to this. And I look forward to having more conversations in the future.

Seth Price 53:50
Yeah. Thanks for having me on. It’s been a good.

Elaine Johnston 53:52
Again, we just want to thank Seth price for being on the show this week. And just being lenient, and with us and talking about all different all kinds of topics.

Cody Johnston 54:02
Yes, seriously. Thank you. It’s, it was an awesome episode, because it transitioned out of something we were just talking about and into something we’re about to talk about. So I think that was awesome. And we got to hear some of Seth’s perspectives, which is kind of a cool thing whenever we’re actually listeners to his show. So we get to hear the hear the voice behind the mic and what he believes and what he struggles with.

Elaine Johnston 54:23
And he even asked us questions, too.

Cody Johnston 54:25
Oh, that was fun. So it was a great interview. Also, a quick reminder, hop on to that email list and grab this final five websites, it just runs down some awesome tips on how to be a good listener. And yes, it involves shutting up and listening. But there’s a whole lot more to it. So hop on to that email list the rescue com forward slash subscribe and grab that course nomads you already know that and if you enjoyed this episode, we asked you share it on with a friend. That’s the best way to keep this conversation going. Also head down there to that review section. Leave us an honest review so we can know what you guys are getting from the show and how we can just serve you guys better. We love you guys. Thank you so much. And as always be brave, be bold and be reckless. We’ll talk soon

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Seth Price

Seth Price

Host of “Can I Say This At Church?”

Check out the “CISTAC Honest Discussions” Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/canisaythisatchurchhonestdiscussions/

I’m sorry that we have made God so small - Seth Price Share on X 

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