We have family visiting us today through this weekend. I have fallen behind in blog post drafts, so today’s post will be a link to a powerful lecture given by Dr. Rod Rosenbladt at Faith Lutheran Church in Capistrano Beach, CA on November 7, 2010 entitled, “The Gospel for Those Broken by the Church“.
Dr. Rod Rosenbladt is professor of theology and apologetics at Concordia University (Irvine, California) and co-host of The White Horse Inn radio broadcast. He is a Lutheran Pastor. In this lecture, he will give some Church history for both Lutheran and Reformed traditions as well as address the Wesleyan, Armenian, and Nazarene. The focus of this lecture is on the need for Christians to be focused on, defined by, and preaching fully the Gospel of Jesus Christ for Christians, too. Looking beyond the differing Denominational frameworks to the Cross of Jesus Christ. This is an essential lecture for all Christians, regardless of denomination. Please do not simply forward this video to those you know have been hurt by the Church, without first digesting it, reviewing it, and understanding what is being presented so that you can reach out in love to the individual with whom you wanted to share.
I’d like to offer up some brief portions of the transcript to further encourage you to watch/read the whole thing:
The “sad” alumni
By the sad alumni of the Christian faith, I mean the hundreds and hundreds whose acquaintance with the Christian church was often one in which they were helped to move from unbelief (or from a suffocating moralism) into real saving faith in Jesus Christ. They heard the preaching of God’s law and then heard the announcement of Christ’s work on their behalf on the cross—Jesus as the God-man who met the law’s demands for them, and died for their sin, died to save them, died to give them eternal life. They heard the wonderful message of God’s grace in the cross and death of Jesus Christ. They heard the astonishing news that God in Jesus Christ died for them, died so that they can be—and are!—freely forgiven based solely on that atoning death. They heard that Christ’s blood redeems sinners, buys us out of our self-chosen enslavement. They came to believe that Christianity is not so much about what is in our hearts as much as it is about what is in God’s heart—and this proven by Christ’s vicarious and atoning death for them, for their sin. They came to believe that the cross of Christ was their salvation. For free. And forever.
But something happened after that, something that broke them. And, in general, I think what happened is nameable. (At least in many cases.)…(Read More)
The “mad” alumni
It is not all that uncommon. I find that these angry ones have usually not switched from Christianity to another religion. Nor have I found that they have switched from one Christian denomination to another. Instead, I find that they are angry at any and all religions and anyone who represents any religious position—but especially Christianity. And that is natural. After all, it was Christianity, as they see it, that “used them up and threw them away.” I suppose the most visible examples would be men like the late comedian Sam Kinison and ex-Roman Catholic George Carlin. You may (and probably do) know better contemporary examples than I know. All of us are in the vicinity of people like this at one time or another, maybe know a few of them as friends, or have at least met one or two in passing. Why do I say that? Because such people are, as I said, not all that uncommon these days.
Now I certainly can’t this evening exhaust the dynamic involved in such people (again, I’m no clinical psychologist). But I still think a lot of the mad alumni also often have a nameable history, just as the sad alumni have one.
People like this often speak as if Christianity baited and switched them—just like a used car salesman “baits and switches” a young couple at a car lot.
Christians promised them a new life in Christ in such a way that it was going to be a life of victory, God’s designed route to earthly happiness, a new, divine power that would solve the problems so obsessing them. Then, when the promises didn’t seem to work the way they were supposed to, the church put it back on these believers that they were somehow not doing it right… (Read More)
Be blessed today, and come back tomorrow for another Friday Sermon here at FaithfulStewardship.
In Christ Jesus,