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Radical Grace Radio Road Show

For the first time ever, Radical Grace Radio is hitting the road. This Saturday Night at 6pm Radical Grace Radio is live at Faith Viera Lutheran Church. Pastor Gary Held is preaching at the service at 5pm, and Radical Grace Radio goes live, talking about the problems Christians face in the world of evangelism and unity.

Faith Viera Lutheran Church is located at 5550 Faith Drive, Rockledge, FL 32955, and you can phone the church at(321) 636-5504.

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RGR: The New Atheists: Broken by the church?

On Today’s show we’re continuing the theme of “Broken by the church” by talking about today’s so Called “new atheists”. The profile is simple. Many of them are outcasts from the church at large, and not church body or denomination is exempt from being the culprits here. We’ve done this. We created the situation where all these people have given up on the church and many times on Christ himself.

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Desperate Hearts do Desperate Things

The other day after I posted about “why Radical Grace Matters”, I noticed just how desperate I seemed in the post. Even though I was venting, it wasn’t doing me any good to rant about the bad preaching of John MacArthur or how most of the preaching today is shoddy, vapid and shallow. Even though, like most people, I love pointing out the faults of the people around me, it was doing nothing for me with regards to addressing the problem.

But I want to address this tendency of ours to lash out at the ones who we believe have harmed us. It’s a sinful act that we get into, oh yes. I don’t think I need to put up the scriptures where Jesus calls this lashing out sin. He was well aware of the hatred that rises up in us when we are feeling betrayed or trampled on, and even more so when the slings and arrows are real rather than imagined. Like children we react to provocations from all sides, finding in us either a stifled emotion that only leads us silent disdain, or leading us into acts of so desperate that eventually they disturb even our nearest acquaintances, and eventually us too.

For whatever reason, we just don’t actually grow up. Oh, we put on a good show after we learn how act in polite society, but always bubbling under the surface is the tendency to hate. We already know that our hearts are “wicked and deceitful above all things”, but no matter how much we take this into consideration, we still run afoul of God’s law.

That’s why our hearts, indeed our fleshly hearts, are so desperate to impress God. We all know we’ve done something wrong, in fact, many things wrong. We already sense that we need to try and be reconciled with God and we’re constantly coming up with ways we hope will some how make the cut, desperately hoping against hope that something will finally atone for all the sin we’ve accomplished in our lives. But all the while this is happening, someone we hold in high esteem, usually a pastor (but increasingly our own well meaning brothers and sisters), is hammering us with everything that THEY think will be what atones for our sins.

So imagine how much more desperate we are when we are broken by God’s law, and given no recourse; no Gospel to console us. Imagine a heart that’s already broken, not only by God’s law, but a pervasive sense that God is totally against us. We look around at our lives; where we are daily facing financial ruin either due to job losses or medical emergencies and the like. We look at how things are going for us and we imagine that God is against us AND that there is no way to change his mind on the subject. Desperately we cling to the hope that somehow, somehow… we’ll find something.

So I’m reminded again of Elijah in 1 Kings chapter 19. I’ve often said, “I feel like Elijah under the broom tree”, because there are times when I’ve had the snot kicked out of me by all the doings of this world. I say, agreeing with him, “I have had enough! Take my life Lord! I am no better than my fathers!”. And indeed, even though God’s still, small voice comes to me each week through right preaching of God’s word, and I am fed by Jesus’ body and blood, I often continue to complain “I have been zealous for you Lord… but now they are trying to kill me too”.

But what I have in Christ is so vividly captured in the Theophany that is displayed here. Eventually, this broken man called Elijah, who was at the end so broken that he could only rely on God to get him through much traveling, was taken home in a chariot up into the heavens. And one day, I will meet my Lord and Savior in much the same way! Elijah was raised up into Heaven! Jesus will raise me up in the Last day!

Now, if that is true, then what are the implications of that with regard to how I perceive God’s attitude towards me? Is God against me if His promise to me is that I will be with him in paradise? And since it is true that He is for me, then that means even though they may be trying to kill me in many ways and diverse manners, it doesn’t matter! God is for me!

Who can be against me?

Why does “Radical Grace” matter?

I recently received one of those innocuous notification from a friend on Youtube stating that said friend had “favorited” a video, one featuring popular evangelical preacher John MacArthur. I had never heard this man preach before, and the friend who favorited the video is a Lutheran, so I figured I’d give it a listen.

Now, before I go any further, let me just say this. I had my guard down for this listen. I have a few people who I let my guard down when they preach. One, of course, is when Pastor Gary Held, my cohort on Radical Grace Radio, is preaching. It’s likely that I’d also let my guard down for a sermon by Greg LeSieur as well… but for this John MacArthur sermon, I had my guard down because it came from the favorites list of a Lutheran.

I’ll never make that mistake again. John MacArthur’s sermon nearly killed my faith. I’m dead serious. His sermon was filled with everything from Lordship salvation to works righteousness. He claims that, yes, Christians sin, but if you have a pattern of sin in your life, you need to “check your foundation” before it’s too late.

Now, I’m not trying to be too thoughtful here. I’m not interested in talking points, or well crafted prose. What I am interested in is expressing how angry I was with this man. I told Pastor Gary the other day “How dare this man try to take the grace and mercy of God away from me!” I was furious! I wanted to have John MacArthur in my studio for a few minutes, just long enough to ask him this: have you sinned today sir? If so, do you think your going to sin tomorrow? How about the next day? Yes to all? Do we see a pattern here yet? Is there now a discernible pattern of sin emerging?

So back to the point of the day. “Why does Radical Grace matter?” It’s simple, yet so difficult for people to grasp: Because we need the Radical Grace of God to match the Radical nature of our sinful condition. We are, as a matter of course, so sinful at any given moment that even if someone were to administer several CCs of curare and render you in a state of coma, the doing of passing out itself would be tainted by sin. The depravity of our existence knows no bounds. That’s literal. No pulling punches.

If people are only marginally sinful, then some form of mild grace from God would be sufficient. But the fact is, our sinful nature is matched only by one possible Godly response and that is the immeasurable grace and mercy of our Lord.

Radical Grace matters because it shoots for the dark recesses of our lives and fills up those lives with Christ. You all remember, I’m sure, of that description of the “God-shaped hole” that was a prominent evangelistic analogy for many years. Radical Grace tells us that there is a “sin shaped hole” in our lives that can only be filled with Christ!

I’ll be doing more posts on this as time goes by. I have to. It’s all I have.

How to fill your spiritual needs

Recognizing God’s blessings

On the way up to the station today, we we’re delayed due to two accidents on I95, involving what looked like ten vehicles. Praise God it looked like no one was seriously hurt in either accident, but it sparked a conversation that we had on the air… About how God blesses us even when things don’t go like we planned, and how our physical and spiritual needs are met.

We were going to have a conversation about online church, but all the show prep went out the window when we were delayed. We’ll have the conversation next week.

To listen to the show you can click on the play button or right click on “get mp3” and choose “save target as” to save to your computer.

How to fill your spiritual needs

ELCA decides: Abandon God’s Word

The ELCA turns it back on God

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the most liberal Lutheran Church Body in the United States, has voted to abandon the Word of God and support both Same Sex Marriage and Rostered Gay Clergy. In this edition of Radical Grace Race, we talk about the ramifications of this move, about how the media has portrayed Lutherans during this point in history, and how an incident with a Tornado that struck the Convention Center where the ELCA were meeting to discuss these issues may have been a sign from God…

There is a definite sense of pain and anguish over watching this happen. How can we even begin to understand what has happened?

To listen to the show you can click on the play button or right click on “get mp3” and choose “save target as” to save to your computer.

You’ve heard it said…

Magical Spiritual Poofle Dust

In this edition of Radical Grace Radio, Pastor Gary Held talks about how the idea of Christians being at war is misused by some Christians, for instance, how the idea of us being Christian Soldiers fighting against the culture is bolstered by the misapplication of certain Scripture.

We also begin what we hope will be a weekly segment, “You have heard it said”, where we take some statements of popular teaching of Christian Teachers today, and do what Jesus did with them on the sermon on the mount. This week it’s Pastor Michael Youssef and what he believes is the Gospel, and how “if you believe with all your heart, God can do great things”.

To listen to the show you can click on the play button or right click on “get mp3” and choose “save target as” to save to your computer.