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How to improve your Christian Hate Life.

Making your list of things you hate.

Hate. We’ve heard this before. For all the talk that Christians make concerning holiness and self help, it appears that even after 2000 years the church still hasn’t come to terms with this most perplexing problem. To this day, because the majority of Christians do not properly distinguish law and gospel, people are calling all the time at each other blindly to repent of this or that or there can be no unity… But with the Gospel, there is unity in Faith, in Baptism, in one Lord… How do we know this is too often driven by hate?

I present for your consideration, Westboro Baptist Church. Fred Phelps and his little congregation sound just like a lot of churches and church leaders. But ever since someone set of an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) outside his church, Fred Phelps has made it his single obsession to let the world know that his god would not let this aggregious act go unpunished. In fact, if you didn’t already know, they don’t randomly pick which funerals they want to picket, no. They always picket the funerals of soldiers who died from being killed by and IED. Now, I want you to imagine for a second. For all his theological bloviating, Fred Phelps’ problem winds up being tit for tat. You tried to blow up my church, my god will blow you up.

Really? Is that what the Christian message is? You attack him, God will attack you back?


How to improve your Christian Hate Life

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You’re Tearing the World Apart

Reformation Day Special 2010

This Reformation Day… We took the Gloves off. Yeah, I went off a bit. The reason? Because it’s becoming apparent to me that, as much as I would like to say in unison with everyone else in the LCMS, I don’t think we’re offering the right corrective to the kind of Christianity that is going on out there these days. It’s almost as if we’re trying to relive the first reformation and force everyone else to relive it with us.

Martin Luther had no idea that a “reformation” was on it’s way. He merely wanted to call a disputation on indulgences. That’s it. Nothing out of this world. But it got out of control for him. Called to revoke his teachings, to recant under pain of death, what cause the reformation wasn’t a group of people getting together to write a mission statement, assess assets and crunch numbers. And before any of you in the LCMS think to yourselves, “yup, we get that”, think again. We’re so caught up in our own stupid fads that we’re nearly useless.

Kyrie Eleison.

You’re Tearing the World Apart!

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God’s will for my life: Today, I’m sick.

Selling God’s grace at a deep discount.

That’s how it goes. We all were coming down with something. Pastor Greg said he was getting over a cold. Pastor Gary had one already. I was coming down with one. But wait just a second. This isn’t supposed to happen to a Christian, is it?

Well, in this edition of Radical Grace Radio, we had no choice but to talk about finding God’s will for your life, since literally billions of dollars have been spent on self helps books and seminars, prayer beads and trips to faraway places. It seems like people everywhere are seeking God’s will for their lives.

Well, there’s a couple of things that come to mind here. One, is this: If you’re a believer in Christ, and you’re in him, how much in God’s will can you be? Think about this. Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now had sold over 2.5 million copies as of May 23rd, 2005. It’s 2010 now, and he’s written another book, Become a Better You, which sold out it’s first printing of 4 million copies in 2007… That’s a lot of money spent on self help, just on these two books alone.

I know how Christians are thinking. They worry, day by day, that they are NOT making the cut. It’s no wonder, since the world trains us to think this way. You have to work, and you have to do well at what your vocation is if you want to keep working. That’s how the world works, and that’s how we’re trained to think. So of course we think this way with regards to God and all He does.

But Here I’m not going to take the usual take on this *. I’m going to, instead, suggest that what’s going on here is unbelief. See, for the average believer (like all of us), we look around and it’s very hard to see what God is doing in our everyday lives. With eyes of faith we believe that God is doing things in our lives, but it’s very difficult to stay in that sort of mindset. So, we either make the move to help God along by learning to be more cooperative with Him, or we secretly harbor the notion that God isn’t as interested in what’s going on in our lives as we’d like.

Take Abraham, for instance. He had the sure promise that he was going to have a son as his heir. God said it would happen, but Abraham (then Abram) eventually agreed to sleep with his maidservant, Hagar. Now, I’m not suggesting that Abraham became an unbeliever, because St. Paul tells us that Abraham didn’t waver in his belief in the Promise… Yet, he did still sleep with Hagar, didn’t he?

I think this shows just how desperate we fallen sinners really are. Even when we can remain in faith, we have a severe problem with remaining faithful. Paul tells us that Abraham didn’t waver in his faith, yet he did fail to remain faithful.

Just goes to show you. We’re such smart alecks, and so smug. But what do we do, nearly every day? We sell God’s grace at a deep discount. We have to learn to unlearn this way of thinking quickly. God is always involved in our lives.

“I am with you always even till the end of the age”.

God’s will for my Life: Today I’m sick

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Ex Christians: Broken by Spiritual Gifts?

Misapplication of Spiritual Gifts

In this edition of Radical Grace Radio, we talk about how the Spiritual Gifts are misapplied in such a way that Christians wind up broken and sorrowful.

There was a woman at my old church, which was a Pentacostal Church, who was scheduled to recieve her “annointing” one night after many weeks of being taught about fruits of the spirit. All the people who attended classes came up front to be prayed over and begin speaking in tongues… but when it came to be her turn, she didn’t start speaking in tongues. She was inconsolable. She thought that since she didn’t speak in tongues that God had rejected her! After all, if she learns what she needs to do, and does them faithfully, but she doesn’t get the annointing to speak in tongues, what could that possibly mean?

That’s why we do this program. We have no choice but to offer a corrective for stuff like this. People’s souls are riding on it.

Ex_Christians: Broken by Spiritual Gifts?

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Religion: Check off Jedi Knight

Who are we in Christ?

Our identity in Christ… That sounds like it’s the most important thing we could learn about ourselves, but we’re all carrying around too much baggage to get it, unless we learn something really simple: Power does not necessarily equal Good.

Second thing is this: The world religions are lying to you. They have no power they can give you. Nothing. Only in Christ are you identified with power, and that power is Christ alone.


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Religion: Check off Jedi Knight

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A Reckless Confidence in Christ, Part 2

By the Power of Greyskull!

In this edition of Radical Grace Radio, we first answer the error that says that Jesus is not God with Colosians 2:9, “for all the fullness of the Diety dwells in him in bodily form”… Hmm… Sounds like God to me.

But we have to pick up on this idea that we can have a “reckless confidence in Christ”… Listen as Tyrel Bramwell of Reformation Underground calls in to join the discussion.


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A Reckless Confidence in Christ, Part 2

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Not going well…

I guess it depends on who you are. Really. I mean, if you’re the kind of person who likes to see debate shut out, and narrow margin adoption of resolutions, and people tearing their hair out, then I guess this Convention is for you.

See, during the convention, we have a standing rule that states that, when there is a “con” statement made during a debate, then it MUST be followed by a “Pro” statement. So the chair gets to spend several minutes skipping over people who are waiting to speak their minds to a specific resolution in search of a pro or con statement, till a time limit is up where the chair gets to call the question on the resolution. Then the chair asks a bunch of disgruntled people (namely us delegates) to decided to end the debate and vote, which everyone does for whatever reason… then the resolution passes by a narrow margin (somewhere in the range of 51 percent to 49 percent)…

So are things going well here today? No. People are getting frustrated. Oh yeah. I am, the people next to me are getting frustrated… It’s getting old quick.

But tomorrow is the synodical presidential election. Perhaps this will be the bright spot.

This delegate, however, is beginning to realize we’ve been talking to the wrong group. We thought that Evangelicals needed help finding the way forward… it turns out it’s our own synod that needs help in knowing which way is forward.

Unity and Division

I’m often surprised to hear things said such as this: We should learn to be more tolerant of the diversity we have among us.

Now, on it’s face, it looks like this is a good statement. After all, there is a lot of diversity in the LCMS. But for some reason I don’t thing that’s what they mean when they say we need to be more tolerant. I think what they are saying is, “we feel threatened when you talk to us about churchly matters”. Which, to be honest, is a valid thing to say. Now don’t get me wrong when I say this. It’s hard sometimes when you’re talking to someone about things such as Divine Worship, styles of music, and things of that nature who obviously knows some things about it that you don’t. That is not me saying there’s a lot of stupid people out there. No, not at all. But there is a tendency amongst people who call themselves “confessional” to be a little bit smug about themselves because they’ve read all the latest literature about why we shouldn’t be adopting modern worship styles and instrumentation. Face facts here. Confessionals are sometimes rabid about the subject.

However, there is something more disturbing about the statement about being more tolerant of diversity among us. It smacks of something reprehensible. There’s a way in which it’s a bit over the top, suggesting not so good intentions on the part of those deemed “intolerant”. If, for instance, someone says that it’s an act of Satan to divide us over matters like these, isn’t that just a bit over the top? Doesn’t it suggest that those who are “intolerant” are seeking to divide us? And by definition in league with Satan?

See, there’s a way in which even those who want unity at all costs are making trouble for everyone. I guess what I’m asking is this: When are we all going to own up to our intolerance? Why can’t I speak up that I think it would be better is we observed the Divine Service rather than make up some loose set of rules of worship and not get called intolerant? I’m a bit of musicologist, so I know something about ancient worship practices and music from the second temple era that would surprise most people on both sides of the isle… yet in the current climate I get pegged as intolerant because I’m either not “missional” enough or “confessional” enough.

It’s been an eye opener here at the convention so far. Keep in mind, the blog posts I’m putting up right now are mainly train of thought stuff… call it me debriefing and decompressing at the end of the day.

The Law of Piety? Or the law of love?

Navel Gazing Gone Wild

Oh the things the Word of Faithers will say to make their followers think so highly of themselves. Pastor Fred Price provides this edition’s “fatal error”.

But on this edition of Radical Grace Radio we revisit the “Lukewarm Christian Test” and divide Law and Gospel this way: which is more important? The law of piety? Or the law of love?
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The Law of Piety? Or the law of love?

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Judged by our works?

Law vs. Gospel? Is that right?

On this edition of Radical Grace radio, we talk in the first half hour about a listener email that asks:

“At what point is my sin deliberate? I know I will commit tomorrow, the same sin(s)I committed today. I recite the Lord’s prayer every night. I have guilt, but that doesn’t matter. I know it’s a sin, but yet I keep doing it. Is this not deliberately sinning against God, thus losing my salvation?”

Then on the second half of the hour we talk about Judgment day, and why it seems that scripture is of two minds with regards to how we are saved.
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Judged by our works?