[Guest Post by Lynda Lahman]
I once read a book about a loving Jesus versus a legal Jesus…is the point of Christianity to follow the teaching of ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’ or to look for and punish sins?
It was an interesting look at how differing denominations view the Bible, God, and the purpose of religion itself.
Jason Stellman dives into these same issues in his book, ‘Misfit Faith, Confessions of a Drunk Ex-Pastor.’
From his first calling as a missionary with Calvary Chapel, through his ordination in the Presbyterian faith, starting Exile Presbyterian Church in Woodinville, where he served as pastor until 2012, and ultimate conversion to the Catholicism, Jason’s journey is one of discovering and rediscovering his passion for God, love, and the meaning of Christianity.
“Jason…has always felt like a misfit. A Protestant pastor with a sharp wit, a restlessly inquisitive mind, and a love of pop culture and rock and roll, he has long sensed that something was missing when it came to his relationship with God. In time, he felt drawn to the Catholic Church, so he stepped down from his ministry and embraced Catholicism, only to still feel misplaced and homeless.
His feelings, thoughts, and troubles echo the disillusionment and confusion of many people who struggle relating to ancient faiths in a postmodern world.”
With no desire to convert, ‘if I can change my mind, who’s to say I won’t change it again; I’ve been proven wrong before, so I have no need to convince you,’
Jason simply shares his interpretations of faith with openness, candor, and a reasonable dose of humor. However, he is clear that the faith he professes is ‘love of my neighbor is the point; doctrine and theology are useless without love.’
Jason moved to the Seattle area in 2004 to plant a new church and relocated to North Bend in 2015 on the recommendation of a close friend who lived in Snoqualmie. Since leaving the ministry, Jason has engaged in public speaking, writing, and, starting in 2014, a podcast, ‘Drunk Ex-Pastors,’ where he and his friend, former pastor and current agnostic Christian Kingery, discuss religion, politics, and culture.
“Misfit Faith is an invitation to all the religious vagabonds and exiles with nowhere to really call home, those wanderers who increasingly feel like mere fans of spirituality rather than committed members of the team.
If you’ve ever questioned your faith, felt like a spiritual malcontent, or sought solace for your existential angst at the bottom of a bottle of bourbon, then Stellman just may be the best drinking buddy you’ve never met.”
Recently Jason’s pastoring has shifted to a more literal metaphor of feeding the hungry, providing farm-to-table meals at The Well and Table, a restaurant he and partner Jaynie Wetherbee opened in Gilman Village. You can learn more about their philosophy, menus and make reservations at www.thewellandtable.com, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.
[Lynda is a mental-skills coach for athletes, having retired after a thirty-plus year career as a family therapist. She is an avid traveler, hiker, motorcyclist, and the first person to finish the 11-day Iron Butt Rally twice as pillion and twice on a solo bike. She’s the author of five books, including ‘The Women’s Guide to Motorcycling’ and her most recent, ‘The Story: of Love, Loss, and Memories.’ Lynda lives in Snoqualmie and is currently working on improving her pickleball and golfing skills.]