Posted 12/16/16 at 3:14 PM | Todd Friel
This may be a completely kooky idea, but may I suggest it is time to reconsider our current battle with culture over Christmas? Here is my proposition: I say we “reclaim Christmas” by not insisting every store clerk must mumble, “Merry Christmas.” Permit me to make my case.
The true Christmas is a solemn celebration of the greatest miracle of all time: God became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1: 14). To say, “Merry Christmas” is to wish someone a joyful incarnation day. Should we really demand that a pagan utter this Christian greeting?
Perhaps we have forgotten what it means to say “Merry Christmas.” Just as we would not force a store clerk to give the traditional Easter greeting, “Christ is risen,” we should not demand they say, “Merry Christmas.” If Christmas is indeed about Christ, we are asking pagans to say something only a Christian should say. We are forcing them to use the name of Christ to speak a blessing to someone. Last time I checked, that is blasphemy.
Forcing our culture to say something they do not believe is the opposite of Christianity. The world should expect forced conformity from Muslims and totalitarian dictators, but not from us. FULL POST
Posted 10/11/16 at 9:07 AM | Todd Friel
Undoubtedly (and unfortunately) you have been exposed to the lurid mind of Donald Trump as he exchanged “locker room banter” with Billy Bush. Christians should leave the political prognosticating to Rush Limbaugh, and perhaps learn the many lessons that the sewer of Donald Trump’s mind has afforded.
1. The religious right is dead; but it should never have been birthed in the first place. Christians are not the moral majority; we are a holy minority. We are not a political party; we are the church of Jesus Christ. When we accepted both monikers, we told the world, “We Christians are political animals.” We are not. We are the church of Jesus Christ (not of Latter Day Saints).
2. We are to make disciples, not political enemies. Voting for the Don is one thing; but endorsing, supporting, or defending him has made an enemy of the harvest field and compromised our Christian witness. Maybe it is time to carefully consider how and how much Christians talk about politics.
3. Mike Pence is a Christian brother, and I would not want to be in his shoes trying to defend a loutish running mate. Lessons in being unequally yoked for $500, Alex (2 Corinthians 6: 14). When you and I are seen as linking with any politician, we have committed the same error that Mike Pence has made. FULL POST
Posted 4/26/16 at 4:54 PM | Todd Friel
While we have often had to plug our noses while doing so, Evangelicals have generally accepted the principle of voting for the lesser of two evils. That principle is being challenged by several high profile Evangelical leaders who suggest that both potential candidates (Trump and Clinton or Sanders) are so evil, a Christian cannot vote for either one.
There are two arguments offered by the adherers of this new perspective:
1. If you vote for someone who is generally accepted as being evil, then your vote is an endorsement of their wicked worldview.
While a Christian ought to be vigilant to never endorse evil, does anyone really believe that a vote for one of two lousy candidates is a wholehearted embrace of their worldview? If our culture did hold that opinion, then I would agree. But we don’t, so I don’t.
2. If you vote for a candidate that you know is going to make some evil decisions, then you are literally participating in their evil deeds.
Again, Christians never want to participate in evil, but is that what we are doing when we vote for a bum? Perhaps this analogy resolves the issue: if a CEO is found guilty of embezzlement, does anybody think that his employees were participating in his illegal activity? No, because they are not. Nor are we when we vote for a disaster of a candidate. FULL POST
Posted 4/21/16 at 12:55 PM | Todd Friel
Progressives promised they only wanted visitation rights for homosexuals at hospitals.
Then they told us they just wanted homosexuals to have similar legal rights as heterosexual couples.
Then they petitioned the Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage.
Along the way, progressives promised that Christians could hold their deeply held religious beliefs. Three events happened this week that reveal two things:
1. Progressive secularists are not done with their demands.
2. Progressives really don’t intend to let Christians retain a dissenting opinion regarding a person’s sexual lifestyle.
This week, Saturday Night Live mocked Christians for nearly three minutes. There was no censure, no fines and no apologies for saying derogatory things about a people group: Christians. You can watch their ironic skit here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDDAa1If-u4
During this week’s Stanley Cup finals, Chicago Blackhawk forward Andrew Shaw uttered an inaudible gay slur. He was suspended for one game, fined $5000 and must take sensitivity training. You can watch his brow-beaten apology here: http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/15281995/blackhawks-forward-andrew-shaw-suspended-one-game-anti-gay-slur FULL POST
Posted 4/19/16 at 2:50 PM | Todd Friel
Baptist Governor Nathan Deal decided to not sign Religious Freedom Protection Bill HB 757. Even King Belshazzar could read this handwriting on this wall.
Prior to Obergefell v. Hodges, homosexuals promised that they simply wanted equality and they would never overrun our religious liberties and force us to officiate a gay wedding. Then why did the LGBTQ community respond so aggressively to a bill that simply protected a Christian minister from being forced to marry a gay couple?
The handwriting is clear, “You Christians kept us in the closet for years, now it’s your turn.” The patriarchs of tolerance are being anything but. Expect your pastor to be confronted by this issue soon. Very soon.
But all of this begs a question, how could a good ol’ Baptist from Georgia not sign a bill that would protect Christians from violating their consciences? The devil is found in the definition of the word, “Baptist.”
Governor Deal attends a “welcoming” Baptist church in Gainesville, Georgia whose website proudly proclaims, “Our mission is that of Christ's: inclusive of all…” You don’t’ need to work for the CIA to interpret that code language. FULL POST
Posted 3/8/16 at 9:22 AM | Todd Friel
Even the bestest Christians can forget the basics of our faith. There are two main ways to do that because the message of the Gospel has two messages:
1. Humans are terrible, horrible, no good, very bad sinners.
2. Jesus is a loving, righteous and perfect Savior who died for sinners.
Forgetting one of these two messages is the source of most of our quarrels. Gospel Amnesia, part 1 examined the statements we blurt that indicate we are forgetting the first message of the Gospel. Part 2 examines the second way we forget the Gospel: by forgetting that Jesus died for sinners.
1. I feel guilty.
You might feel that way, but if you are in Christ, the second message of the Gospel says, “You are not guilty.” It is perfectly fine to grieve over sin, but it is not fine to feel guilty. Cuz you’re not.
2. I hate myself.
That is very unfortunate because the second message of the Gospel says that God doesn’t hate you; He loves you.
3. Do you have any idea how much I do for you?
Apparently you have forgotten how much God has done for you when He died for you, a sinner. When you forget the second message of the Gospel, it is very easy to ask that question. FULL POST
Posted 2/29/16 at 11:20 AM | Todd Friel
You do not need to be reminded that you forget a lot of stuff. Quick, recite the Pythagorean Theorem that you memorized in geometry class.
Thanks to Great Grandpa Adam, you and I suffer from the effects of the fall, and one of the most notable areas is our brains. Our logic is lousy, our thinking is busted and our memories constantly short circuit.
Knowing that you and I can easily forget basic teachings, we need to be hyper-vigilant that we do not develop a case of Gospel Amnesia.
The Gospel can be defined in just two sentences:
1. We are very bad sinners who hate God.
2. Jesus is a very great Savior who saves rebels.
When we have Gospel Amnesia, we are forgetting one of those two simple definitions. Here are seven statements that we make which demonstrate that we are forgetting the first message of the Gospel.
1. I can’t believe you did that. FULL POST
Posted 2/20/16 at 12:56 AM | Todd Friel
There is so much to love about the movie “Risen:
➢ A clever and fresh story line
➢ Mostly non-cheese-ball Christian dialogue
➢ Wonderful cinematography ➢ Credible acting
➢ First rate score
➢ On point lighting
➢ Graphic brutality that was not gratuitous which enhanced one’s appreciation for the barbaric era in which Jesus lived
➢ The movie took respectful but not blasphemous liberties for the sake of the narrative (yes, some timelines were wrong, but nothing was heretical)
➢ The ascension scene was pretty cool
Best of all, “Risen” hammers home the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. And all of God’s people said, “Not so fast.”
As I sat in my reclining chair as the credits rolled, I found myself feeling queasy for two reasons. The first was likely the result of popcorn with too much 10W-40 on it. The second reason was more problematic: the Gospel was mostly MIA, and when it did make a guest appearance, it failed to mention that: FULL POST
Posted 12/3/15 at 4:26 PM | Todd Friel
From Chapter 8 of “Judge Not.” Available at www.wretched.tv
Listen to many of today’s hit worship songs and you will notice a lot of fiery references. Why? Because Charismatics love the word “fire” and Charismatic groups like Hillsong, Vineyard, and Jesus Culture are the most powerful influences in contemporary Christian worship music.
The Bible typically defines fire as actual fire or a symbol of judgment. Either way, you do NOT want God’s fire to fall on you.
Charismatics seem to use the term “fire” to describe a warm, passionate feeling about God. If Jesus Culture gets their wish, they will either be scorched by flames or judged by God. But that doesn’t stop Jesus Culture from asking God for lots of fire.
You will also notice that fiery Jesus Culture music has romantic undertones to it. Here is their romantic flamer “Fire Never Sleeps.”
I see that hope is coming so pull me from the ashes, ignite my soul Please, burn away the darkness cause love is like a furnace where Your fire never sleeps Burn oh my soul; set me on fire Burn oh my soul; light up the fire Burn oh my soul FULL POST
Posted 11/18/15 at 11:27 AM | Todd Friel
From Chapter 10, “Judge Not” by Todd Friel,available now at www.wretchedradio.com/store/judge-not
The music weeps, the preacher pleads, “You have a God-shaped hole that only Jesus can fill. Won’t you please ask Him into your heart?”
Then comes the predictable, “Who is going to break the ice? Who will be the first to come to this altar and make Jesus your Lord and Savior?”
As souls shuffle to the front of the church, we celebrate another successful harvest. But not for long.
Three months later, nobody has seen our new “converts.” The fol- low-up committee calls them and encourages them to attend a Bible study, but to no avail. They have no interest in the things of God. We label them backsliders and get ready for the next service.
Maybe it’s time to rethink the nineteenth-century invention we affectionately dubbed “the altar call.”
Ten Problems with Manipulative Altar Calls FULL POST