E78: Who Decides What Sin Is?
Questions for Reflection
In each episode, we offer you a few prompts to think about how that day's conversation applies to you. Our supporters over at Buy Me a Coffee now have exclusive access to the PDF versions of all our Questions for Reflection. Join us today!
Beth & Steph (00:03):
Welcome to the Discovering Our Scars Podcast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:06):
Where we have honest conversations about things that make us different. I'm Steph.
Beth Demme (00:09):
And I'm Beth.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:10):
I've been in recovery for 14 years and I am the author of Discovering My Scars, my memoir about my mental health struggles, experiences and faith.
Beth Demme (00:17):
I'm a lawyer turned pastor, who's all about self-awareness and emotional health because I know what it's like to have neither of those things.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:23):
Beth and I have been friends for years, have gone through a recovery program together, and when I wanted to start a podcast, she was the only name that came to mind as cohost.
Beth Demme (00:30):
I didn't hesitate to say yes because I've learned a lot from honest conversations with Steph over the years.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:35):
We value honest conversations and we hope you do too.
Beth Demme (00:39):
That's why we do this and why we want you to be part of what we were discussing today. On today's show, we're going to have an honest conversation titled, "Who Decides What Sin Is?"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:49):
Then we'll share a slice of life and the show will close with questions for reflection, where we'll invite you to reflect on the conversation in your own life.
Beth Demme (00:56):
We're going to talk about sin today.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:58):
How do you spell that?
Beth Demme (00:59):
Sin, S-I-N. There's no I in team, but there's an I in sin.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:03):
Is that a thing?
Beth Demme (01:05):
No, I just made it up.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:06):
You could say that because you're a pastor, so it's now official. It is a thing. You should say that from the pulpit.
Beth Demme (01:12):
Copyright 2021. Yeah. No, probably somebody else said it. I don't know. Who knows where that comes from?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:19):
Well, speaking of--
Beth Demme (01:19):
The recesses of my mind.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:21):
Speaking of who knows where something comes from, that's what we're talking today, is where does sin come from? Who decides what a sin is? We're digging into sin today. Hopefully, this won't be a sinful conversation. Hopefully, this is going to be positive and good. But I guess my first question is where does sin come from? Where does that concept come from?
Beth Demme (01:45):
Well, in some respect, the concept of sin comes from the church. In some respects, it comes just from human nature. I mean, everything in theology, everything in religious life is about humans trying to understand something in terms of their relationship with God. And so, sin is that big category of things that separate us from God.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:16):
How would you define sin?
Beth Demme (02:17):
Yeah, that's my working definition of sin, is anything that separates me from God.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:23):
Okay. Sin is really a Christian concept--
Beth Demme (02:29):
Ooh, that's a good question.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:30):
or does every religion recognize sin--
Beth Demme (02:33):
For sure not--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:33):
... like every religion? Does the Jewish community recognize sin?
Beth Demme (02:38):
I'm not an expert on that by any means. I'm not an expert on sin. I mean, I'm an expert on my own sins, but I think that actually in Judaism, sin is viewed a little bit differently. Because in Christianity, it's like sin separates us from God. And then how do we reconnect with God? Religion actually means rejoining. How do we reconnect with God? I think that it's a little bit different in Judaism. Christianity is about salvation. It's about being saved in some sense. I would say that it's about redemption and restoration because that word saved can have some baggage with it, but I don't think that that is treated the same way in Judaism.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:21):
Okay. So we're specifically talking about Christian sin, I guess, because that's what we know.
Beth Demme (03:26):
That's what we know.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:26):
Beth Demme (03:27):
Yeah, we can only talk about what we know.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:28):
Beth Demme (03:28):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:29):
So you would say though sin is tied to religion. Non-religious people you would think don't really recognize sin. Would you think?
Beth Demme (03:41):
Yeah, I think that it would be a doctrine or an idea that doesn't have any real meaning for them. So someone who is an atheist, to say to them, "Is there something in your life that's separating you from God?" they would be like, "Well, there is no God." So, it wouldn't have any--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:56):
That makes sense.
Beth Demme (03:56):
It wouldn't have any meaning to them. I recently met an atheist at work.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:02):
Beth Demme (04:02):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:02):
They're out there.
Beth Demme (04:02):
They're out there.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:03):
Beth Demme (04:04):
He didn't want to talk to me, but he was very polite about it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:08):
Oh, at the hospital.
Beth Demme (04:09):
At the hospital.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:09):
Yeah. Where you're a chaplain.
Beth Demme (04:10):
Yes, where I'm a chaplain. So he was laid up in the bed and got an order to go see him, not like a command, but like a--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:18):
Beth Demme (04:19):
By God, no.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:20):
Who ordered it?
Beth Demme (04:20):
A hospital order. It was like, "This patient wants to see a chaplain." Great. I go and he's like, "I so appreciate what you're doing, but I'm an atheist." And I was like, "Well, we don't have to talk about scripture. We could talk about poetry or music, or just about how you find meaning and purpose in your life. And he was like, "No, I'm good, but thanks." Okay.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:36):
Did he ask for a chaplain then?
Beth Demme (04:37):
I don't know how it ended up that I was told to go there, but--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:41):
Okay. Maybe they wanted you to convert him.
Beth Demme (04:43):
That's not my job.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:45):
Did he survive? Is he okay?
Beth Demme (04:47):
Oh yeah, he's fine.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:48):
Beth Demme (04:48):
He's fine. Yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:49):
So, what does the Bible say about sin?
Beth Demme (04:52):
So sin is a concept throughout the Bible. It starts in Genesis, which is the first book of the Bible. It talks about how the people of Sodom were sinners. And so, Sodom and Gomorrah is like this very sinful place, but then it goes all the way through all the way to the New Testament. So, the Bible describes sin often in terms of behavior. And so, for a long time, the church defined it that way too. I understand why it's defined that way. That makes sense to me. But I think that it is not so much about the behavior as the effect of the behavior, which is why I go back to it's anything that separates you from God. It's in any action that you take that separates you from God.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:36):
So, how do we know what a sin is? Is a sin for you the same as it is for me?
Beth Demme (05:41):
I think there are probably some things that would be a sin no matter who committed them.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:45):
Beth Demme (05:46):
Right. Although, I mean, if you're the person who's paid to be the executioner in a state death penalty case, is that a sin? I don't know.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:58):
Oh, is the person that actually murders the person that was told to murder the person, are they sinning?
Beth Demme (06:03):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:06):
Are you sinning if you are being paid to do it, if that's your job? That's interesting.
Beth Demme (06:13):
So, it does get complicated, but I would say there are also things that are definitely individual, that you have to look at in individual's circumstances. Actually, I wouldn't look at them. I would say I have to look at myself. Each of us should look at this individually. So for example, I, from time to time, have a drink socially. That's okay. But if I had a problem with alcohol, then a social drink could be a sin because it could lead me to overindulge, which would then make me act in ways that were not loving to God or myself or my neighbor, which is--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:54):
But you'd have to be self-aware enough to know that you have a problem with alcohol.
Beth Demme (06:57):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:58):
If you weren't aware that you have a problem with alcohol, then you wouldn't even know your sinning.
Beth Demme (07:02):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:02):
So, is there a big element of self-awareness to sin as well?
Beth Demme (07:06):
Well, I think self-awareness is where the opportunity to course-correct comes in, but I think that you can sin and not be aware of it, which might sound like the opposite of what I just said, but let me explain. So, I could know that I am... Okay. One of my things, one of the sins... We should talk about what our sins are, but one of my sins I would say--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:29):
Do we want to, or should we?
Beth Demme (07:30):
Oh yeah, probably both. One of my issues, one of my sinful issues is gluttony. And so, gluttony is just any kind of overindulgence. I think that an honest reflection of my life would say that I live a fairly gluttonous life.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:49):
So you've defined that you are gluttonous, and that's a sin.
Beth Demme (07:53):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:54):
So you're aware of your...
Beth Demme (07:57):
Oh, right. That's where I was going. So I'm aware of my gluttony. And so, that's a sin that I need to be working on. I need to have a growing awareness of it and I need to be taking steps to understand how that is separating me from God, right? But there are also sins that I'm complicit in, that I'm not as aware of or even not aware of at all. I might get in trouble with you for this now that I'm thinking about this. Apple hasn't always had responsible business practices in terms of their international workforce, right? There have been questions about workers being mistreated in production lines, but I've owned an iPhone for a really long time. So, am I in some way--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:46):
If you are going to take that stance, then why are you buying anything from Amazon?
Beth Demme (08:51):
Okay. Amazon would be a great example too. I was just trying to think of an example of a way that I am--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:55):
I don't think Apple is anywhere close to being a good example. There is so many companies that are way worse. Apple has addressed it and has taken many steps.
Beth Demme (09:05):
But my first awareness of this idea was because of Apple. That's why I went there, because my first awareness of like, "Oh, I have been a part of this bigger system that I didn't understand how it worked, I didn't have any knowledge of how my decisions as a consumer could have been negatively impacting my neighbor around the world." Right? My first awareness of that was with Apple. Now, it didn't stop me from buying an iPhone. It didn't stop me from buying an iPhone after that and after that. That's my sinful issue.
Beth Demme (09:35):
But even when I wasn't aware of that, or even if I'm not aware of how Amazon's practices are hurting my neighbor, or if I'm not aware of how the environment is being stripped so that we can get the raw materials for batteries, because we want to get off fossil fuels, even if I don't have a real understanding or awareness of that, I can still participate in that system, and that failure to show love to my neighbor can separate me from God. So, that's where there's an awareness element, but also even if you're not aware of it, it's something that could be considered a sin.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:11):
I mean, I hear you. I feel like this is a little far reaching because I think what I'm hearing is ignorance almost, ignorance is a sin. If you are choosing to not be aware of the products you're buying and what their business practices are and if you're choosing to not know what's happening in our country with politics and things like that, that that could almost be a sin. Or is the sin knowing these things and still partaking?
Beth Demme (10:41):
No, I think that even when you don't know... I was hesitating because I don't know that it has to be a willful choice to not know. I think it can just be... I mean, you just don't know what you don't know. But this is why when we pray, what we call the Lord's prayer, "Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it in heaven," and we pray that God will forgive us for our trespasses, it's always plural, our trespasses, because we, as humanity, are in this connected web and things are happening in that web that we collectively can seek forgiveness for.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:27):
A lot when I hear people talk about sin and people pointing fingers, it's people pointing fingers at other people and saying... One of the things that is the church in general continues to harp on, which is just why I'm very turned off by the church is continuing to call the LGBTQ+ community sinful for their behaviors and that that is a sin and that's separating them from God and telling them this. I don't see that as helpful. I don't see how that is going to help somebody have any kind of connection with God. I just don't see how that's helpful.
Beth Demme (12:08):
I totally agree with you. I think I agree with you on the fact that we too often want to look at other people's sins instead of our own. Jesus addresses that directly and he says, "Don't worry about the speck in your neighbor's eye, worry about that plank that you got in your eye. That's where you need to start." I also agree with you that the church as a whole, the church universal is obsessed with sex and their ability to define sexual sin. I think that the church has made grave mistakes in identifying people as sin, which is not of God, in my mind. So, to say that a person who is LGBTQ is a sin, no, or to say that they have a lifestyle that is a sin, no, right?
Beth Demme (13:01):
Particularly, my beloved denomination, the United Methodist Church, one thing that we really, really get wrong is in our current book of discipline, which is our book of guiding principle, as you might say, our rule book, it says that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity. That sentence is not okay. That idea is not okay. I think we also get it wrong when we try to single out any sin and say, "This is the one we're going to really hang our hats on." Right? So, I happen to be one of those pastors who doesn't think that God requires gender difference for love, right? So, I don't see that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. But even if I did, I would not support the church's attempts to single that out as the defining issue. One of the things that tends to get taught in church is that all sins are the same, and I have a hard time with that too.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:07):
In the sense of calling out a sin or just saying any kind of sin is the same, or is it specific sin that--
Beth Demme (14:16):
Well, I feel like that that's how I learned it growing up and even as an adult, that whether you lie or steal or murder, that all of that separates you from God. Any of that could separate you from God, therefore it's all equal and I am not so sure about that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:38):
So the definition that we've said sin is separating you from God. So you're saying that murdering someone separates you way more from God than stealing something.
Beth Demme (14:49):
Yes. Now, I haven't murdered anyone and I haven't stolen anything so I can't speak to this from a personal perspective, which is something that you and I keep coming back to you, that that's really important to look at the sin in our own lives. But I can imagine that if something happened and I took someone else's life, even if it were through negligence or an accident, I think I would be so despondent over that, that it would create a wider chasm between me and God. Not that God has moved, but that I would have moved. So in that sense, I don't see how that could be the same then as cutting somebody off in traffic, right? Not loving my neighbor by treating them badly in traffic.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:32):
Yeah, I definitely see the reasoning there, but I guess if we do take the concept that more sins are worse than others, then are you saying that if someone murder someone, that it would be almost impossible for them to reconnect with God because of how bad that sin was? And so, that's when I wonder if we say all sin is the same, if we say it's all the same, it disconnects you from God, then that means that there is a possibility that you could reconnect with God. But if we say that sin, there's some sins that are so much worse, it seems like then there's some sins that you can never come back from.
Beth Demme (16:14):
I don't think there's any sin you can't come back from. I once saw a church sign here in town and it just had two words and an exclamation point. It just said, "Stop sinning!"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:27):
Oh my gosh, this is why people shouldn't have signs. They should be vacant.
Beth Demme (16:30):
So tell me how you feel about that stuff. Is today the day that you are going to finally stop sinning?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:38):
I have a very deep frustration for most signs that tell me to do anything.
Beth Demme (16:45):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:46):
The signs that tell me to drive like my kids live here, let me tell you, that makes me so angry, because first of all, you're assuming I'm not driving well. First of all, you're assuming not positive intent. Second of all, you're assuming I have kids. I don't. Third of all, you're assuming that, "Oh, kids live here. I'm going to drive differently." No, I always drive well. I care about other people on the road. I care about staying safe for myself and other people so I'm always going to drive well. Your freaking sign, who is that sign for? Who does that sign help?
Beth Demme (17:21):
That sign is a big, old should statement so there's no way you're going to get behind it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:25):
I'm wondering, I literally want to know who is that signed for. So signs like that, just statements like that, just super frustrating. So stop sinning would make me roll my eyes if I saw that sign. Just yelling something at somebody, that's basically what it is. "Stop sinning!"
Beth Demme (17:41):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:41):
Giving me no resources, giving me no context, giving me no love, just stop sinning. I really don't like those kinds of--
Beth Demme (17:50):
It was in all caps too, so it did have a feel about it. Be good.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:55):
Beth Demme (17:55):
It's like, "Be good."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:56):
What? It just like it continues my just distaste for churches because it's like you're not doing anyone a service by judging people. People that aren't Christians would probably know what... I mean, I think most people have heard the word sin and they know it's bad. So just somebody that's driving past a church and just see stop sinning, how are they going to feel? As a Christian, that makes me mad. As an atheist or any other person, how are they going to feel? Who was that signed for?
Beth Demme (18:33):
That's a good question. I do wonder who that sign was for.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:35):
Who is that sign for?
Beth Demme (18:35):
Did they have one particular church member in mind? And they're like, "When they drive in the Sunday, we really want them to see this. We really need Martha to know that it's time for her to stop sinning. No offense, Martha." What is a very prevalent sin that I think we, as a culture, are needing to reckon with again, and that is racism. Racism is sin.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:58):
Yes. Well, and that goes back to are you always aware of your sin? Because the more that I'm examining my life specifically and most of white lives, we have been raised to be racist. Our schooling was to just sugarcoat slavery as a footnote, and, I mean, films that make us think the slavery was okay and we were just raised to be racist. And so, it was a sin that I had no awareness of. It's literally was our culture to be racist and have no concept of it. So, it's interesting. Was I sinning for 34 years until I was aware of it or is it only now a sin that if I continue my old ways with the knowledge of being racist, is that the sin and does it matter? Does it matter if before I was sinning or whether I'm sinning now?
Beth Demme (20:06):
It definitely matters once you have an awareness of it, because then you have an opportunity to exercise your free will in a different way. So I definitely think that matters. Before you were aware of it or before I was aware of it to the degree that we're aware of it now, right? I mean, I think that that falls under that collective sin that God's love and grace and mercy also covers, but there's also this sense of being grateful that now I can see it and that I don't continue to live unaware of it or ignorant of it, or somehow consider that a privilege to not be aware of it. I mean, I--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:51):
Yeah. I would say I think it was a sin before and I think it did separate me from God without even being aware of it. So, what can I do now for all those years that I wasn't aware of it? I can see that and change my behavior and be aware of racism and how I can be anti-racist and not harp on the fact that I was raised racist, but just move forward with that knowledge and make changes now when I can.
Beth Demme (21:21):
Right. I don't think that God is keeping a big ledger book and he's like, "Well, for 34 years, Steph didn't have an adequate amount of awareness about this. Therefore, she's going to have to do this much penance." I don't think that's how God works. I think that that's a human economy that we try to read back into scripture and we try to put back on God.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:44):
Well, and I think that goes to the fact that we might be sinning right now and have no idea. There might be something that we're doing in our life that we're not aware that separating us from God. I think that's why it's so important to not be pointing fingers at other people, but just to be very aware of ourselves and what sin is in our lives and to be friends and neighbors to others, but not to point out things that we see in others. I think it does sometimes it's easier to just see the faults and other people and see, "Oh, you messed up on this and you messed up on that," than to look at our own lives, but I think that's the only thing we can do is look at our own lives and need to be doing.
Beth Demme (22:29):
Before there's an awareness of sin, there still... Again, this is part of the United Methodist Church, this is part of being a Wesleyan, but we have this idea of prevenient grace that it goes before. And so, sometimes you will hear culturally, or if you're somebody who's been around church on and off or even your whole life, you may have heard of the idea of original sin, which is the idea that, well, since humans existed, we have been separating ourselves from God and that we see that reflected in the story of Adam and Eve and somehow that aspect of human nature that gets labeled original sin.
Beth Demme (23:06):
As a Wesleyan, I would rather talk to you about original righteousness, that because we all bear the image of God, that there is something in us that cannot be completely corrupted. And so, prevenient grace goes ahead of us. So when we don't yet have awareness of how we need to turn or repent or do things differently, that God's grace is preventing us from being completely corrupted, you might say or completely overtaken by the effect of our sin. That's why I think that redemption is always possible with God. Even when it's not possible between humans, I think it's still possible with God.
Beth Demme (23:56):
We have so much fun making this podcast and we've heard from some of you that you're wondering what is the best way to support us. So we've decided to expand the podcast experience using buymeacoffee.com. You can go there and buy us a cup of coffee, or for Steph, a cup of tea, or you can actually become a monthly supporter and that will give you access to PDFs of the questions for reflection, as well as pictures, outtakes, polls and more.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:20):
The kinds of things that we would put on social media, if we had a social media channel, but we actually don't for the podcast because we decided from the beginning that we didn't want to add to more white noise in your life. So one of the great things about Buy Me A Coffee is that you'll be able to actually get an email when we post new content. You can go straight there and you don't have to deal with ads or being bombarded with other content. You see exactly the content you're looking for without a bunch of distractions. We plan to post probably once or twice a week. We're excited to get your feedback as members on our Buy Me A Coffee page, which we are lovingly calling our BMAC page.
Beth Demme (24:53):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:53):
BMAC. So you'll be able to find a link in our description to find out more and to sign up.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:03):
All right. Beth, I have two things to share. Number one--
Beth Demme (25:08):
Number one. Number one.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:11):
... is I'm getting the vaccine today.
Beth Demme (25:13):
Woo-hoo! Welcome to the club.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:15):
Woo-hoo! So, I am 35, so I know I was on the bottom of the list for COVID-19 vaccine, but a couple months ago, I emailed my doctor through... We have this medical portal and I emailed her and she said... I just was asking when it might be available for my age group, and she said, "Well, I don't know, but I can put you on a list." And I was like, "Oh, sure, sounds good." So yesterday, out of the blue, I get a call from a doctor's office and they said, "Would you like the vaccine?" I said, "Yes." And they said, "Friday at noon." I signed up. So, I don't know which I'm getting, so that's still exciting, which one.
Beth Demme (25:49):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:50):
I know. I don't think I'll have a choice, but if I did have a choice, I think I'd go with Pfizer, but I'm open to whatever they have. That's all I want is just a vaccine would be great.
Beth Demme (26:03):
Well, it just so happened we were on the phone together. We were actually on a Zoom together when you got the call and I actually have never seen you that excited. You looked so excited.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:10):
It was probably the most hopeful news I've gotten in a year. There's been some exciting things that have happened this year, some good things, but this is probably the most hopeful thing that has happened in over a year. Yeah. So it's just very exciting. I'll called my mom, told her, and she's very excited.
Beth Demme (26:32):
So, you're going to get your first vaccine now, and then in probably three weeks.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:36):
Depending on what you want to get. If I get Johnson & Johnson, then--
Beth Demme (26:38):
Oh, right. They don't have--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:39):
So, I don't know. But yeah,. I mean, I'll follow whatever the process is.
Beth Demme (26:43):
Yeah. And then what are you going to do? What's the first thing you're going to do when you're completely vaccinated?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:47):
I'm going to Disney World.
Beth Demme (26:48):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:49):
So we have gone to Orlando twice during the pandemic and we've gone to the parks, but we haven't done anything indoors. We haven't done indoor rides or anything like that. So I really been wanting to do indoor rides, obviously masked and all of that, but that's one of the things I've been wanting to do. I mean, Disney, they require mask. They do have six feet social distancing labeled on the ground. From what we saw, people are following it. That is one of the safest places I've felt, which seems counterintuitive to what people know about Disney. But that's the first thing I want to do. Once I'm fully vaccinated and had all the proper time, I want to go back to Disney and do rides.
Beth Demme (27:29):
I was really surprised that Disneyland in California has actually been closed this whole time. I mean, Disney World has been open for most of this year, but--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:38):
I know. I know. Yeah.
Beth Demme (27:40):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:42):
Yeah. Yeah. Whether I agree with it or not, they've been open and... Yeah. So, that's what I'm excited about and being able to be unmasked around my niblings. Actually, my niblings were in town last week for spring break so I was wearing a mask around them, but one fun thing is they wanted to podcast. So your mic was used by two of my nephews. They recorded. We recorded probably like four, five, six, seven, eight, probably--
Beth Demme (28:13):
Are we going to release those as bonus episodes to Discovering Our Scars?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:15):
I don't know that you're really wanting to... I mean, they were fun, but I don't know that they're--
Beth Demme (28:21):
How old are they?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:22):
Almost six and seven or eight. Oh my gosh, I don't know.
Beth Demme (28:28):
They're young anyway.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:29):
Yes, they're young.
Beth Demme (28:30):
It's not like their teenagers or something.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:31):
Under 10, for sure. Both are under 10.
Beth Demme (28:32):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:33):
Yes. But they had fun and enjoyed playing with the sounds and the clapping. That was their favorite sound that we have on board. Yeah.
Beth Demme (28:43):
So, you said you had two things.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:44):
Oh yes. My second thing is you always tell me weird news, so I--
Beth Demme (28:48):
Right. I have one today, actually.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:49):
Oh, good. Good. I have weird news that I participated in that I wanted to tell you. This is very weird so I thought you'd enjoy it. We talked about this on the podcast a couple weeks ago though. So one of my pandemic activities had been watching professional eaters eat food on YouTube.
Beth Demme (29:09):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:09):
It sounds weird and it is weird, but it's not done weird. They're literally just eating large amounts of food. And then if they eat it in the time, they win and it's like, "Woo-hoo! Good job." I don't think you can really judge people for their pandemic activities so--
Beth Demme (29:29):
Oh, is that what you think?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:30):
Remember that. Remember that. Anyways, so we--
Beth Demme (29:33):
I could judge you. It might be a sin, but I could totally judge you.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:36):
Anyways, there are two that we... So one that I started following, her name is Katina Eats Kilos, and that's her. She's very good, but she's kind of the underdog. It takes her usually almost the whole time to eat the food if she is able to do it. And so, she's super fun to watch. But anyway, she started dating another professional eater. Oh my gosh.
Beth Demme (29:58):
As one does.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:59):
Yes. Randy Santel is his name. And so, he has a huge following. He's been doing this for 11 years. Again, I have no idea how it's even humanly possible to eat this much food. But anyways, they went on a Florida tour and they were in South Florida. It was fun. He's been posting where they were going to be. I was looking the other day. It was on YouTube. I wasn't searching for it. I looked at it and it said Tallahassee and I was like, "What?"
Beth Demme (30:24):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:25):
"They're going to Tallahassee." They were so close to me that it was just like, "Oh my gosh."
Beth Demme (30:30):
So, did you go?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:32):
My mom's been watching with me too. And so, I told her and she's like, "Oh my gosh, we have to go." I was like, "But mom..." Because--
Beth Demme (30:37):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:38):
... we've been watching these videos and most people are not masked there and that doesn't make me happy and that doesn't make her happy, but...
Beth Demme (30:45):
And in a restaurant, I mean--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:47):
Yeah, in the inside. Exactly. And so, I said, "I don't know. I don't think it will be safe." And she's like, "Well, they do have an outdoor eating area. So if they do in the outdoor eating area, we could be outside." So anyways, we were like, "Let's just drive past and see how it's like." We went and we were there for two hours.
Beth Demme (31:07):
Oh my word.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:08):
We were actually able to actually... They have a porch area, but we were able to stand outside of the porch area in our mask and able to see everything perfectly and it was really nice. It was cool to see behind the scenes of how they filmed their videos. I will tell you, if you think watching people eat food on YouTube is gross, we realized watching them in person is actually really gross.
Beth Demme (31:30):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:30):
Because you would hear the food, you hear the noises as they're chewing, you're like, "Huh?" We fast forward through a lot of this on YouTube now that we're realizing and it's like, "Okay. Okay. Yeah, I'm seeing that."
Beth Demme (31:42):
Well, at the risk of having a spoiler alert or having a spoiler, did he do it? Did he eat all the food in the permitted amount of time?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:50):
Yes. So Randy did the challenge first. I think they had 30 minutes and he did it in less time. I don't remember what his time was. And then Katina did it right down to the wire, which I think is more fun to watch when you don't know if she's going to be able to finish it. She did it as well, but right 29 something.
Beth Demme (32:10):
Did they do it at the same time?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:12):
No. So that's why we were there for two hours. But actually, so--
Beth Demme (32:15):
So they weren't competing against each other.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:17):
No, no, no, just--
Beth Demme (32:18):
It's more like--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:19):
... you have to do it. Yeah.
Beth Demme (32:19):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:20):
It actually was really nice because we kept our distance and Randy, the food eater, actually talked to us and he was very respectful. He said, "Hey, if you want a picture, I'll put my mask on." He has head shots and he signs them for people. I was not going to get one. I was like, "No." And my mom's like, "Sure." So, we have a signature from him.
Beth Demme (32:42):
Why don't we have those? Why don't we have head shots of ourselves to give out? Oh, wait, I know, because no one's ever wanted one.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:49):
Because I would be way too embarrassed to even say, "Would you like my headshot with my..." I can't even. I can't even. Yeah. But he was really nice and respectful. He kept his distance and he didn't judge us for being safe. There were some people in mask there, but there was also people eating, so they were eating unmasked obviously. But it was fun. I'm glad we did it. It's been enough days. I didn't get COVID from it, but that was so weird that we did. So, that was my weird news.
Beth Demme (33:21):
Wow. That is--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:22):
The videos aren't out yet on the YouTube channel, but I'll send them to you so you can put a link in the description because they'll probably be out maybe by the time this episode airs.
Beth Demme (33:30):
Yeah. Actually, this episode is coming out on Good Friday. So if you happen to be listening to this on the day that it airs, I would like to say, take a moment to really think about what Good Friday means if you happen to be a Christian and in a tradition where Good Friday is practiced and don't skip ahead to Easter, but really pause and have a moment to--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:51):
What happened on Good Friday?
Beth Demme (33:53):
So Good Friday is the day that Jesus died.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:55):
So it's kind of like a ironic name.
Beth Demme (33:59):
Because of the good part, you mean?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:01):
Beth Demme (34:01):
Oh right. You're right.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:02):
Because it doesn't seem like it's good. It seems like death Friday.
Beth Demme (34:05):
Well, you can't get to resurrection without death. So, it's a necessary part.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:10):
So death is good.
Beth Demme (34:11):
Yes. What might sound like a strange truth, Jesus's death on Good Friday was good. It talks about the Bible how the veil was torn and then the Holy of Holies was exposed. A whole new way of being in relationship with God happened. And so, that's why it's Good Friday. So I just like to encourage people not to rush through to Easter and not to rush through the joy, but to recognize that... Discover your scars today, folks. Live in the darkness and in the death. It's okay. Easter is coming.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:44):
Jesus had a lot of scars.
Beth Demme (34:46):
He did, but that's not my weird news. My weird news for you today is about a study by scientists, actual scientists, that confirms what you and I already knew, right? Cats are jerks. Dogs are better.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:01):
Yes, we did know that.
Beth Demme (35:02):
Yes. Don't come at me, cat people.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:05):
And they'll throw their cats at you.
Beth Demme (35:06):
If my sister is listening, I know that you love your cats, I know that they are precious and special to you, but--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:13):
Beth Demme (35:13):
... I'm not a cat person. Yeah, cats are jerks. This study--
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:16):
You also think dogs are jerks. You're not a dog person either.
Beth Demme (35:19):
So, some dogs are jerks. It's true. But you know what, some babies are jerks, some human babies. It's just as a thing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:24):
Some people are jerks.
Beth Demme (35:25):
Yeah, some adults are.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:26):
A lot of them are.
Beth Demme (35:27):
Anyway, what did study did is they played the voices... So they had these 20 cats and they played the voices of their owners and then they played the voices of strangers. The cats would react to the voices of their owners. They would flick their ears or turn their heads. They would acknowledge, "Oh yeah, I know that voice," but they would never go to the voice. They would never approach where the voice was coming from. And so, it just is a study that proves...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:55):
That your cats know your voice, but they're too lazy to come to you.
Beth Demme (36:00):
Or they just don't care enough. They recognize their owner's voice, but they don't care enough to go to the owner.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:05):
What if the owner said like food or treat?
Beth Demme (36:07):
I don't know. Maybe that's the second phase of the study, but scientists have confirmed cats don't care.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:14):
I mean, I didn't need science for that. I've had two cats and I've had two dogs. Cats don't care.
Beth Demme (36:20):
Cats don't care.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:23):
There's nothing wrong with cats though. I know people that have cats and love their cats and that's cool. No shade to cats.
Beth Demme (36:31):
This study is throwing some shade on the cats. I'm just saying. I mean, it's not my work. It's the work of the scientists
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:36):
I mean, I think it is pretty clear that dogs love their humans way more than cats. I don't think science needs to tell us that and I think cat owners know that too, or maybe not.
Beth Demme (36:44):
Oh, do they?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:45):
I don't know. Maybe not.
Beth Demme (36:46):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:46):
Well, have they had dogs before? That would be a good question. So cat owners that think their cats love them, which I'm not saying that they don't, but have you had a dog before and can you see differences between the love level of a dog versus the love level of the cat? Love level, that's a fun episode.
Beth Demme (37:03):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:03):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:09):
At the end of each episode, we end with a question for reflection. These are questions based on today's show that Beth will read and leave a little pause between and you can answer them or find a PDF on our Buy Me A Coffee page.
Beth Demme (37:19):
Number one, do you believe in sin? What are your sins? Number two, is it easier to see sin in yourself or others? Why? Number three, how is self-awareness essential to understanding sin? Number four, do you think ignorance is a sin?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:41):
This has been the Discovering Our Scars Podcast. Thank you for joining us.
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Mental Health Advocate. Author. Podcast Host. DIYer. Greyhound Mom.
I'm a mom who laughs a lot, mainly at myself. #UMC Pastor, recent Seminary grad, public speaker, blogger, and sometimes lawyer. Learning to #LiveLoved.