Christians are now using podcasts as avenues of discussions for topics which they feel they might not be able to talk about within the confines of the church, such as those dealing with sex, evolution, and LGBTQ issues.
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Based on a 2015 poll by the Pew Research Center, more than half of the Millennials who have left Catholic and Protestant churches from 2007 claim they are still religious or spiritual. This is the target audience of unorthodox Christian podcast hosts like Toby Morrell of "Bad Christian" and Mike McHargue of "The Liturgists," NPR details.
Speaking to NPR's Michael Martin on "All Things Considered," Morrell and McHargue shared their reasons for leaving the church and how their podcasts affect Christianity.
McHargue said he loved being a Baptist Christian but his parent's divorce after three decades of marriage affected his faith.
"As I explored this middle space between faith and skepticism, I found that there were a lot of people stuck in that gear too," McHargue told Martin. "People for whom the church was too dogmatic, but atheism was too dismissive of their need for mystery and, frankly, things spiritual."
In an interview with The Observer in 2015, McHargue said he feels that podcasting allows him to have the biggest connection with an audience. While people merely skim through articles and TV programs, they have to sit down and allot time to listen to podcasts.
Morrell, on the other hand, shared via NPR that he grew up in a conservative church where his grandfather was a pastor. At one point, the church became so conservative that it was detached from other churches that were "too liberal," and the turn of events led him to feel that Christianity never really represented him.
"The only time I felt like I was represented was actually within the Scripture. Some terrible people were heroes in the Bible," said Morrell. "You saw some really terrible things about people's lives and personalities within the Bible, but when I was growing up in church, everybody hid that. You don't do this, this, this and that makes you a Christian."
Morrell later encountered other people like Joey Svendsen and Matt Carter who felt the same way, so they collaborated on a podcast where they could speak in brutal honesty about the issues they could not talk about in church.