The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church

** LISTEN TO THE SEQUEL HERE: Christianity In Five Verses

NRP is thrilled to be able to now offer you Dr. Rosenbladt’s presentation The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church absolutely free!

We have tied in with the efforts of Faith Lutheran Church in Capistrano Beach, California, which has made the HD video re-recording of this presentation freely available on Vimeo (see below), and we are likewise making our materials from this presentation free to everyone.

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This MP3 of the recording of Dr. Rosenbladt’s presentation is tailor-made for all those folks who are “mad” at and “sad” about Christianity BECAUSE they have been “baited and switched” by the church.

If the Ten Commandments were not impossible enough, the preaching of Christian behavior, of Christian ethics, of Christian living, can drive a Christian into despairing unbelief. Not happy unbelief. Tragic, despairing, sad unbelief. (It is not unlike the [unhappy] Christian equivalent of “Jack Mormons” – those who finally admit to themselves and others that they can’t live up to the demands of this non-Christian cult’s laws, and excuse themselves from the whole sheebang.) A diet of this stuff from pulpit, from curriculum, from a Christian reading list, can do a work on a Christian that is (at least over the long haul) “faith destroying.”

In this staggeringly potent presentation, Dr. Rosenbladt tackles what plagues many ‘recovering Christians’. Sticking to his unchanging theme of 200-proof Gospel, using his own history as an agnostic “outsider” to Christianity, Dr. Rosenbladt delivers the grace of the cross with all its potency, undiluted.

If you’ve struggled with your faith in your church because of what you’re seeing and hearing (and maybe don’t even go to church anymore), you don’t want to miss this powerful address – an unabashed analysis of the church today and what it is doing to many believers – from one who has experienced it himself.

Are we Christians saved the same way we were when we were baptized into Christ, or when we came to acknowledge Christ’s shed blood and His righteousness as all we had in the face of God’s holy law? That all of our supposed “virtue” – Christian or pagan – is just like so many old menstrual garments (to use the Bible phrase)? But that God imputes to those who trust Christ’s cross the true righteousness of Christ Himself? We are pretty sure that unbelievers who come to believe this are instantly justified in God’s sight, declared as if innocent, adopted as sons or daughters, forgiven of all sin, given eternal life, etc. But are Christians still saved that freely? Or are we not? We are pretty clear that imputed righteousness saves sinners. But can the imputed righteousness of Christ save a Christian? And can it save him or her all by itself? Or no?

For all of you who have been given morality lessons instead of the Gospel, hear how Dr. Rod Rosenbladt succinctly presents Christianity as first and foremost a genuine truth claim about Christ as our righteous substitute, instead of a never ending list of popular religious recipes for personal success.


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Dr. Rod Rosenbladt on “The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church” from Faith Lutheran Church on Vimeo.

86 Comments

  1. Broken Christian says:

    Thank you for making these available to a wider audience. Will the video also be published for free?

    • Ted R says:

      Yes, it will also be available for free, through Faith Lutheran Church. We will announce and link to it when it is released. Expect it this coming fall or winter.

  2. [...] Reformation Press – The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church – The guys over at the New Reformation Press are giving away mp3 downloads of Dr. Rod [...]

  3. Dan McGregor says:

    Many thanks for the offer of The Gospel for Those Broken by The Church.

    Unfortunately, I am unable to download it from your site and Monergism.

    Any idea why?

    Again, thanks.

    • Ted R says:

      Dan,

      Sorry you’re having trouble! We’ve linked directly to the MP3 file itself (Monergism is using the same link directly to our servers as well), so I’m not sure what the problem could be. If you’re using a Windows computer, have you tried right-clicking and trying to save the link as a file on your computer? On a Mac, I believe it’s option-click to get this menu.

      That would be my first thought. I’ll leave this comment up for the moment, but why don’t you email us if you continue to have trouble and I’ll discuss it with you there. Thanks!

      wittenberg -at- newreformationpress dot com

  4. jim the Lutheran says:

    Awesome recording!

    It should be subtitled “A Primer for anyone dealing with someone broken by the church”.

    It is just as good for believers helping others on this journey!

    Thanks for making it available for free!

    • jim the Lutheran says:

      by the way, you may keep the $3.45 that I spent for the original download.

      It is worth many times that!!!

      • Ted R says:

        Thanks, Jim. We agree. I can’t tell you how thrilled we are to be able to get it out there for free. Of all the things we’ve been making available, for sale or for free, this one is standing out as a ‘don’t miss’ for so many.

        Oh, and for anyone who is worried that at some point this presentation will be something for which we once again charge, don’t worry. We don’t go backwards. When we’ve cut the price on something, we try to make sure it’s a permanent move. We will never charge for this presentation again. (This wasn’t in response to your comment, Jim, but to another one I’ve seen.)

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lisa Stapp, Michael Scolare. Michael Scolare said: For my friends who won't be in church tomorrow for one reason or another, read the pdf or listen to the audio http://tinyurl.com/3xdayhs [...]

  6. [...] this nice little summary list of scripture verses in a great essay by Rod Rosenbladt called "The Gospel for Those Broken by the Church". • “Be of good cheer, my son. Your sins are forgiven.” • “The [...]

  7. [...] Rosenbladt’s message, “The Gospel For Those Broken by The Church” is flat out good stuff. And I think he’s been reading my mail. This is about the best [...]

  8. J. Dean says:

    While I worry that the message could be taken as a nod in the direction of antinomianism, overall the message is excellent. It is too true that the gospel is considered something for conversion only, and then forgotten about afterward. We need to get back to gospel-centered preaching from the pulpits.

    • Ted R says:

      Yes, we’re used to hearing the concern regarding antinomianism. And, actually, we consider it a compliment. That may sound a little strange, but consider this story.

      Dr. Norman Nagel used to interview new professorial candidates and ask them this question: “If you were to be accused of any heresy, which one would you choose?”

      Now, think about that for a moment. Which one would you choose if you were asked such a thing?

      The answer he was looking for was ‘antinomianism’. Why? Because if someone gave that answer, they probably ‘got’ the Gospel.

      This sort of thing has been on my mind a lot lately, and I think I’ll write a full blog post on it to extrapolate further. I’ll leave you with this: where else in life do we receive unadulterated grace, aside from the Gospel?

      I would proffer that we are so used to being immersed in law, God’s law as well as the civic law of this kingdom, and that the Gospel is so foreign (alien) to us that any significant amount of it causes us to have a snap reaction and say that it’s too much and call it antinomianism. If someone appears to be ‘too free in the grace’, they’re called antinomian. But I say that such a person is typically not an antinomian, but someone who really ‘gets’ the Gospel.

      More to come.

      • J. Dean says:

        I would be very interested in reading a full blog post on it :D And, to make clear, I’m willing to bet that neither you nor Dr. Rosenbladt are antinomians, nor do you endorse antinomianism-if I recall correctly, both Luther and Walther had harsh words against antinomianism.

      • kate says:

        I don’t agree. If anything we are far from being ‘immersed in the law’ today, and are drowning in the grace message. You can’t have one without the other, and a quick look at the times around us and I think our time would be better spent exposing the cheap grace message and what the evidence is of a truly saved person.

        • Ted R says:

          kate, let me ask you this. When was the last time you cried yourself to sleep at night because you feared for your eternal soul that you did not believe nearly enough to be saved? Or that your third baptism didn’t take and you may need a fourth? Or that your seventh time at the altar call might not have been enough because you continue to see sin in your life and you don’t desire Jesus enough, because if you did your sinful behavior would change?

          After studying, praying, consulting with pastors and teachers and reading essays and books, and no matter what you do or how much you study and try to “come to Jesus”, you continue to live in sin and just fail, fail, fail. So you lie in bed at 3:00am in the morning, curled up in a fetal position, shaking and weeping in the most horrific terror, certain that you are hell-bound no matter how much you try to reach out to Christ because you just can’t “get it right”?

          When was the last time you dealt with that?

          These are the people this presentation was written for, not the ones you describe. I regularly meet these “bruised reeds” and “smoldering wicks” and hear their accounts first hand. I am contacted directly by them regularly here at NRP. There are many more than you may suspect. And if I were to analyze them as ‘faking it’, assuming they were “sinning so that grace may increase”, most often I would be committing a grievous sin indeed. Though I believe I have met real antinomians, none of us knows what is in other people’s hearts. Period.

          I would recommend you spend less time evaluating other people’s faith and joyfully go about your daily vocation in the knowledge that not only was Christ’s blood sufficient to cover the sins of the despairing people I just described, but also yours as well. I just hope that proper teaching and preaching of the sufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection finally reach these poor folks’ ears before they walk away from the faith entirely.

        • jim the Lutheran says:

          Kate,

          With all due respect, what is the law, and what is the purpose of the law? What evidence do you look for that shows that a person is “truly saved”.

          Maybe if we start with defining terms, we may get closer on some of these views.

        • Luke exIFB says:

          Thankyou TedR for that reply. You describe my anxieties and fears fairly well, and I have gone through what you described. I consider myself lucky in that I have not denied the faith, but I also realise that at times, it was a very real possibility for me to do, considering that I felt cheated, or unable to “live it” and the only response any Christian could give me was either “cry out to God” or “read your Bible more”. I’m reading the sermon now, and it’s really helping me see things. I read a verse and my heart jumped for joy – “And to the man who does not work but trusts the One who justifies the wicked, his faith is counted as if it were righteousness.” I was a King James Only guy for a long time, and I never read it this way.

          Thanks for taking time to respond to Kate.

  9. Thank you for making this available! And thank you for taking the time to put it in booklet form as well! I have printed it out to put out in our (presbyterian) church’s foyer (with credit of course).

    I thought it was an excellent talk, and very helpful. From the Reformed side, I often give folks an old Puritan book by Richard Sibbes called “The Bruised Reed,” which says much the same thing.

    My only concern is that, pastorally speaking, I think he may have missed one pertinent category of person. And that is the person who SAYS they are broken by the Church, and so make themselves out to be a “bruised reed,” but frankly just want to go their own way, and so find an excuse to reject the Gospel, and so they blame the “rules” of Christianity for their decision to leave. When in fact, what they really want to do is live like the world and not follow Christ at all.

    Their problem is not an over application of the third use of the Law, but that subjectively, they have never experienced the second use. (Well, first use in Calvin’s scheme — the convicting use.) They have never been broken by the Law in the first place, and are in fact unconverted.

    In my experience, they can usually recite the facts of the Gospel, but their disbelief comes from a greater commitment to their own sin rather than a logical rejection of the facts of the Resurrection, etc. “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” (I John 2:19).

    Now, I know some will say this is just pietism; and I also know that Lutherans and Reformed differ somewhat on this point. And I also know Dr. Rosenbladt could not possibly say all things in one talk. So maybe this talk was not even meant to address this kind of person. But I don’t think we should just assume that everyone who says they are broken are really broken. Perhaps some need the Young Ruler treatment before they can really “get” the Gospel.

    And then when they tell me that they can’t do it (e.g. be faithful to their wives), and are truly broken by that fact, then they can receive the full forgiveness and grace of the Gospel. But I will give no assurance of salvation to someone who is actively committed to adultery, for instance. That is no bruised reed, but someone rejecting the free grace of justification because they want to have no part in the fruit which will inevitably result.

    So, no, we don’t give this person more Law, which is the point of the talk, but the Gospel; and yet they reject the Gospel precisely because they are not broken by their inability to keep the Law in the first place. I think a paragraph on this possibilty would have been useful; but again, I realize no one can say everything at once.

    • Rachelle says:

      well said! It IS important to convey that they may have been unsaved all along… I know several people unfortunately like this… their commitment to their sin is their preference. You can tell youre a gifted pastor. Amen to you for preaching His Good News. It’s very rare nowadays to have pastors like you. I thank God everyday for the new church and pastor that leads even us “seasoned” christians in His Good News every sunday. Be encoruaged (:

    • kate says:

      Yes, I agree with what you said totally Chris, and I think it is TOO important a group to leave out of a talk like this.

  10. Chris says:

    I downloaded this a few years ago and listened to it at least once a month before finally leaving the “church” we attended for over 11 years. We now attend a wonderful church that does not confuse law and gospel and where Christ and him crucified is consistently preached.

    Thank you Dr. Rosenbladt, if you only knew how much this has ministered to me and my family.

  11. Dave says:

    This is a fantastic presentation that is so excellent and needed. Rod was very helpful to me when I was making my transition from Evangelicalism to the reformation many years ago.

    My question … is there a way of getting Mr. Parton’s presentation that was a follow up to Rod’s lecture?

    Thank you so very much!

  12. [...] June 15, 2010 The Gospel for Those Broken by the Church — Free Download Posted by Tapani under Gospel, Resources | Tags: Church, free download, Gospel, rod rosenbladt | Leave a Comment New Reformation Press has made the classic Rod Rosenbladt lecture, The Gospel for Those Broken by the Church, available as a free download (it used to be for sale only). You can get both the audio (mp3) and the text (pdf) from here. [...]

  13. olo says:

    Thanks for the free offer! I’d had this product’s browser tab open for over half a year as part of a list of things to eventually buy when my fight with the credit card company is over, so it was both surprising and refreshing to re-visit the page and see it offered for free – that’s one item off my long list.

  14. [...] by Rod Rosenblatt dealing with this very issue: after the Gospel, being pushed back into the Law. The Gospel for those broken by the Church. Scroll down to listen or download the mp3. __________________ For I decided to know nothing [...]

  15. [...] I had the chance to hear Dr. Rosenbladt give his lecture entitled The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church to a packed house. As I and my business partner, Patrick Kyle, sat and watched the impact of Dr. [...]

  16. kate says:

    This talk didn’t gel with me. Where was the scripture? If someone claims to be a christian and yet continues in unrepentant sin, scripture says it is evidence they are not saved at all. I think rather the point is, that 90% of the people sitting in ‘churches’ are not truly born again/saved.

    • Pat Kyle says:

      What about you, Kate? Are you sure that you are saved? Are you sure that you are sure? What sins are you dealing with right now in your own life? Are you 100% surrendered to Christ? Really? If not, isn’t that considered unrepentant sin?
      “Struggling” with sin could be a euphemism for coddling your sin if you’re not victorious over it after a period of prayer and fasting.(By the way have you fasted in your efforts to overcome your sin?) What evidence do you have that you are in the “10%” that are saved?

    • Luke exIFB says:

      This is the kind of unrelenting offense that lead me into the darkest four years of my life, considering suicide, because I was never good enough. I hated sin and yet felt compelled to do it, regardless of how much I prayed, cried out to God etc. And the response of Christians?

      “Maybe you aren’t elect”
      “Cry out to God more, or go to hell”
      “Are you reading your Bible”.
      “REPENT! STOP SINNING!”

      Basically, they told me to do what I wanted to do and already knew I wanted to do, but never told me HOW! There is no power in those kinds of commands. I was never taught how much God actually loves me.

      • Serene says:

        I, also, am former IFB. The good news is that with all my heart I believe that salvation is free, unearned gift; that one cannot be unborn. The bad news is that I spent 10 years miserable as a scared, can’t ever get right with God, it’s never enough, God loves me but really doesn’t like me Christian. And then a few years after coming out of that, as an apathetic believer. I still believed in Christ, but just couldn’t “deal” with him and what I thought he wanted fom me. To be honest, the thought of God scared me to death because following him (the way I was taught) was miserable.

        In my opinion, there’s far too much judgement about the salvation of others. “where are their fruits?” or “if they were REALLY saved the would/wouldn’t ….”. When did that become ou responsibility? All I know is that my Father knows me as His, even if others don’t. And it’s not our duty to convince anyone of our salvation.

        Maybe I do lean to the antiminonian side a bit. I had to look up that word, by the way. But with everything in me, I believe that whatever we point to to PROVE we are saved or as EVIDENCE of our salvation , then that comes too dangerously close to me to trusting in those things and not in what Christ did.

  17. CJ says:

    This is brilliant, and something to be taken very seriously. Another theologian-preacher I listen to a lot often says: ‘you don’t have to be good to be saved; you do have to be saved to be good’, implying that salvation comes to all who believe (John 3:16), and God sanctifies all who are justified by His grace through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

    The power of sin is broken by all who know they are loved and forgiven by God, though the remnants and effects may remain – a bit like melting ice on a lake. It isn’t permanent. The love of God revealed to us in Jesus is enough to break the heart and lead us to love Him with everything we have. All who look to Christ will be holy, like He is holy. God is so much better than we have ever hoped even if we’re worse than we would ever suspect. None of us are as good, kind, loving, faithful, compassionate, prayerful and Christ-like as we should be. We live in the grip of grace.

    It’s the responsibility of each believer to take their life in Christ seriously, but each one of us needs support and nurturing from whichever group of believers we belong to.

    Humanity has been broken by sin, but thank God for Jesus Christ!

  18. Julie says:

    Kate,
    You have posted a few replies here and the common thread in each one is an obvious self-righteous and arrogant attitude that does not come from Christ. Though the core of what you are describing may be true, your attitude and delivery leave much to be desired. The Scripture is clear, Take heed that you think you stand, lest you fall. A prayerful reading of 2 Tim 2:24-26 may be in order. Not that you would believe it, but I am a true born-again Christian and spent the first several years of my walk with the same heart attitude that you are displaying. God’s Word is true….and I fell. By His grace He is picking me back up and putting me back together and showing me just what I am made of….flesh. And so are you my dear. It may be that unless you re-evaluate what God’s word has to say about our attitude toward others, you may well find yourself face-down in the dirt. It seems to be a good remedy for self-righteousness and pride. Also, try Galatians 6:1 and see how The LORD deals with us. May He help us all to be Christ-like.

    • Luke exIFB says:

      I also believe that my great crash was due to my attitude. I was involved with (not employed by, but I used their materials and teachings) a ministry called “Living Waters”, which has a focus on law based evangelism. But as I began reading the books, the teachings for believers were entirely law based as well, and insisted upon our need to keep the law in order to be accepted by God. This teaching infected my mind, and I became quite self righteous, until I woke up and saw, I wasn’t keeping the law, no matter how hard I tried, and I was excusing my sin under that law based teaching. But my mind was infected with “the law is the way to be sanctified” and so I became distressed, anxious, crying myself to sleep everynight because instead of the foolish hypocrisy I had been living under, I was, for a change, honest with myself and my “performance”.

    • Peter says:

      I did not take offense to what Kate said; and I would suggest that you don’t (too late) unless you asked her to clarify. (“Judging” and “how” you judge…frustration, indignance, disagreement?) If anyone would SEEM to need a prayerful reading of 2Tim, it would be you and Pat K above. Did you either of you wait for a reply before you “judged her judgement”? Sorry, but reading this thread with a cold eye many seem to be “intolerant of her intolerance” (which of course is intolerant).

      We’re to correct each other in Love–perhaps she has experience with the perennial “carnal christians” that we see in every faith (they believe just enough to get fire insurance, but pray that Ryrie was right and TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT” as Chris H says above. Perhaps she has family that behaves worse than many athiests she knows (many unbelievers are way nicer than Christians). Does anyone know why kate would express her concern? Just a thought…

      Last I recall, there are STAGES of Christianity, as we GROW. If we’re not showing ANY signs of yielding to God in our Sanctification (the Holy Spirit empowers us) that have we truly been broken by the law? Or are we still “better than so and so” as many are and blind to our sins and hypocrisy–I was. Perhaps I oversimplify, but I think the others (and perhaps Kate, I don’t want to put words in her mouth) would see Dr. R’s presentation (well done) as for those coming into an ER for Triage. (The Gospel got lost). They need to come and stay a bit to heal. First things first–The Gospel and work DONE on the Cross.

      But they don’t need to expect to exist on “milk” forever as Paul said, do they? And It takes TIME, some people have heavy baggage (physical and mental addictions, family of origin issues, everyone has some scars). But sooner or later, I take Pauls letters of Fruits not as “passing grades” compared to others, but as suggestions to use to see ARE WE SHOWING PROGRESS? (Progress, not perfection). If not, I’d be hard pressed to honestly say I yielded to Christ as Lord…because over a year or two, if I truly love Him more than me, I’m going to bust my rear because I LOVE HIM..not because he “hired” me and I’m working my way up.

      Remember there are TWO CATEGORIES of works. (Sproul is great on this one). MERITORIOUS and EVIDENTIARY. I think Dr. R likely meant the MERITORIOUS were the “earnings” that Paul said were wages and those were the ones that were making people leave. It’s the EVIDENTIARY ones (like we deal with because of the AGAPE love we’ve chosen to give our spouses, family, or perhaps aging parents (and other folks that can be trying) that truly build faith — those “experiential” moments when one says “HEY! .. that used to set me off, sometimes still does, but my “threshold” has (for “some reason”) just gotten much better. I think that’s what Kate was getting at (which is not the Cheap Grace but Grace at work…in progress)

      Next week I find the guy pulls in front of me and flips me of–instead of “going testosterone” I brake and give him room (dangerous driver) realize that perhaps they’ve got more troubles than I, and even say a quick prayer for them and those he’ll whip past ahead of me). Loving the Lord with our WHOLE heart, with the Holy Spirit, if we’re truly repented (change of direction_ determined to TRY as best we can to put Him first … and give ourselves some slack and comfort in Rod’s fine Message — those seeds will grow. And milk will turn to mush, to porridge, to Steak.

      Sorry for the blog–been down both roads and 50 years in Rome. For me it wasn’t how many times I tried (the walks and cards and “meritorious works” were useless). I had to finally shed my ego and let the Law Work Deeply as Dr R and Dr Horton discuss over at the WhiteHorse Inn; only THEN did I see Christ’s Love enough to not take it for granted.. His Blessed atonement on the cross just got HUGE. I cannot see how that level of Love (and the Holy Spirit won’t/can’t cause some change OVER TIME, and especially with the help, guidance and loving fellowship of a good church. But folks gotta start somewhere, so Rod’s message is the foundation–and I think hit a home run there. Peace and apologize if I started harsh…the comments to Kate just seemed harsh. Everyone knows words, E-mail can easily be misunderstood. (Sorry if mine are)

  19. Lora says:

    I cannot tell you how much I agree with Pastor Chris. I’ve been watching and trying to communicate with a group of Street Preachers that are doing much harm to the Bride of Christ. They are on facebook, youtube, writing books and recruiting other men and woman to learn how to Street Preach like they do. It breaks my heart because they are trying to undue all that we gained in the Reformation. The people that follow them are very self righteous,judgmental and hate filled people. In due time I believe some of them will find themselves in the camp of people that have been broken by the church. If you don’t believe me check out their Youtube site.
    There you will hear them say that John Calvin and Luther taught that sin was the work of God. Just like Islam and paganism, Calvinism teaches that God is the author of sin. This full length video is a refutation to that blasphemous charge.The Myth of the Imputed Righteousness,PREVENIENT GRACE,The love of God in the damnation of the wicked,Luther Said Jesus Was A Sinner,Jesus Didn’t Satisfy God’s Wrath,God has never promised mercy and forgiveness to those who continue in their sins, the false teaching of original sin, why God demands sinless perfection.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/bibletheology

  20. Jack Wander says:

    I’m one of the angry ones that Dr. Rosenbladt speaks of. All I can say is that I’m grateful for this. I’ve heard many a thing since I’ve left the church, and this is the first to really shake me up. I’ve got to go back to the Gospel, and for a man that has been wanting to see the church-world fail out of vitriolic hatred, this is a huge step, I think. Thanks for putting this up, guys.

  21. Eagle says:

    Interesting…I’m an agnostic today and got to this point because I no longer could stomach nor stand Christianity. I leanred that it was nothing more than “behavior modification.”
    The problems outlined in the sermon above I expereinced in evangelical Christianity from 1999/2000 when I was baptized until the time I walked away in 2009. My last major act of faith was when I moved cross country and accepted my current job becuase I firmly believed I was following “God’s will”. I than had to contend with a member of a parachurch ministry who wanted to teach me a lesson about sin, and subsequently put my job in danger when I used him as a reference. Got to love those Pharises.

    Other things I discovered in my 10 years in reformed evangelicalism, are the following:

    1. Dishonesty- My acountability partner led a double life with porn and sexual immorality while I was hounded for admitting my sinful nature.
    2. Judgement, like some of the comments above on this blog posting I had people who were more than eager to judge my heart and rush to conclusions. Too often there are many Christians who exhibit not only this “us” vs. “them” mentality but also make Christianity to be nothing more than finding the flaws of another person.
    3. Unhealthy conformity- You can’t express doubts, you can’t struggle with difficult Bible passages. No..it was all linked. As my Pastor of where I went once said, “You can’t be an orthodox Christian unless you believe in the pre-tribulation rapture.” So it’s not just Jesus. It’s Jesus + this belief of the rapture, particular stance on creationism, etc.. Its an all of nothing faith, which is tragic that its taught that way.
    4. Manipulation and perversion of scripture. The Bible was used as a weapon, and used to punish at times. It forced people to be dishonest(mentioned above) but it also was used to push an agenda. I find it disturbingly interesting about how the “Jack Mormons” were referenced. When I was in college I looked into Mormonism and almost was baptized into the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints. I walked away feeling sick and rejected that cult. When I exited reformed evangelical Christinaity the same thoughts, feelings, and emotions reminded me of what I went through when I walked away from Mormonism. It was almost a deja vu expereince.
    5. Abscence of grace. Grace doesn’t exsit. End of story…I learned it was a myth. Christians will never dispense grace because they are afraid they are condoning “something”

    So after all that, and all the pain, dishonesty, hypocrisey, etc.. I reached my tipping point. My faith in God ended when I took trips to a dumpseter and trashed a lot of my Christian material. As an agnsotic moving more in agnostic circles, I’m amazed to hear other horriffic stories of people who left Christinaity. I leanred that I am not the only one. And like the Pharises there will be those who will judge, say I never was a Christian, never believed, etc.. To them I say I really don’t care anymore, I had it with you and your phoneyness and my life will move on.

    • Lora says:

      Eagle, I have been very close to where you are at for pretty much all of the same reasons. It’s so sad that God’s grace in the gospel is being communicated so little in the church and by peoples lives today. Many people even in the church are afraid of the Gospel and God’s grace because they are afraid of themselves and their own sinfulness. Either that or they are so self righteous that they still can’t see just how deep their sin really is. If one only opens up God’s word and reads it with the goal of seeing what God did,does and will do for us then they find His heart of love. Unfortunately the church will always be filled with sinners so people might continue to be jerks towards you. If you can only stop looking at people and start looking to your savior, you will see that He isn’t the God they have made him into. Eagle God is very upset with all those who gave you a false view of Him.
      But remember He isn’t dishonest,judgmental,condemning,hypocritical,two-faced.
      like we are. And Eagle he is all that you know God should be like. Loving,caring, feeling, honest, trueful, faithful, kind, long-suffering etc. So much so that He doesn’t come in and zap all of his sinful followers. And Eagle he had every single one of those terrible things you experienced placed on him. He knows exactly how you feel and how mad you are. But he gladly bears them so you can see you are not alone. He loves you so much that even if you were the only one of the face of the earth he would die for you. Even if you don’t believe in Him. He believes in you and wants to give you his kingdom and Himself. And best of all, the forgiveness of your sins. No one else can do that for you.

    • Rich says:

      I feel badly for you that you had these horrible experiences, but from what you’ve expressed, it’s seems that people failed you, not God. People will always fail you at some point in your life. Also, there are Christians, and those who claim to be Christians, but as you know, the Bible states that there is wheat and tares in the church, and this will be the case until the end.

      I urge you not to give up on God because of the actions of some people. Find a healthy church to attend. Maybe visit http://churchsearch2.9marks.org/, they helped me find a healthy well balanced church after years of going to a church where the “sermons” were more of a soapbox scolding, peppered with Bible verses. Then we were told that it was up to us what to “do with the message, because we had heard from God today”. I’m so glad that I found the church that I’m attending now. God is very different that what we were being taught that he was.

    • jim the Lutheran says:

      Here is a church search site if you are looking for a confessional Lutheran Church:

      http://lutheranliturgy.org/index.php

      Best Wishes and God’s Blessings in your search.

  22. Marsha B says:

    I left the Church of the Nazarene after 35 years, and education at a Nazarene University. Marching in lockstep, never daring to raise an honest question, because it would be seen as a chink in the armor of perfection, and the dumbing down I had to do to walk through the door was a huge part of my life long failure as a Nazarene.
    I was asked to leave due to my being very honest about my beliefs in evolution. They pray for my salvation, which many think I lost.
    Hear the sermon, try to be perfect like it was preached in the sermon, fail and hide it so no one can see.
    Yeah, could not do that anymore.

  23. Lora says:

    Marsha,
    I need to comment again, for we attended a Nazarene church on our journey that lead us to becoming Lutherans. By God’s grace He lead us out of holiness churches like the Nazarene church. They seemed to be some of the most legalistic and therefore some of the most controlling churches around. The Nazarene church we attended had so many broken marriages in it. From God’s word we discovered why this happens. When ones focus is on the law then the sinful nature has a tendancy to pop it’s ugly head up. But if the the law is preached properly it should show us our sin so we will repent. Then we need to hear the gospel so we find forgiveness and the power to overcome that sin by focusing on what he did for us.

    If then you Marsha have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3For you Marsha have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

    What a wonderful promise we all need.

  24. Andrew says:

    I’m sorry, if you were a Lutheran pastor and you said you’ll get into heaven because you sang in the choir, you’re not getting into heaven. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the father except by him. If someone (pastor or otherwise) thinks they’re getting into heaven by anything other than the imputed blood of Jesus than they’ve made Jesus a liar and the truth is not in them. If someone says yes I believe in that and in addition I’ve done these things. They are adding to the gospel. The gospel is the power of God to salvation and Jesus is the only salvation. “And this” or “And that” is saying, “sure what Jesus said, plus what I think.” That’s not faith. Faith comes by hearing and by hearing the word of God. The word of God says Jesus is THE WAY to the exclusion of any other way. The way where you add your own part in addition to the way he prescribed is also excluded.

  25. Its really good to visit this informative blog deals with an important subject which believers face in their Christian life.
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    Secunderabad India

  26. [...] to New Reformation Press and Rod Rosenbladt for this precious sequel to “The Gospel For Those Broken By the Church”. Posted by Michael at 12:00 [...]

  27. Patrick says:

    Eagle,

    Wow! I just read your post. If your still out there, know that you’re not alone in dealing with judgmental nimrods in the church. I’ve been there and sadly, I’ve been at times the foolish self righteous one too. I won’t bore you with my whole story, but I remember where I was on campus as a college junior when I said a prayer..”Lord, I know you’re are real, I know Christianity is real, but I can’t do it. I’m not good enough or strong enough. I’m out”. I had been a Christian for two years and I was overwhelmed by my own lack and what I thought were the holy one’s pulling it off, living obedient, victorious lives in Christ. A lot of b.s. is what it was, other young Christians not being honest with the truth of the absolute holiness of God, their sin and Christ’s finished work as our only hope. Blah, blah, blah; many years later after coming back to church, I was within a couple more years, sliding slowly toward the same conclusion in my now not-so-judgmental but so not Christ Centered seeker sensitive church in suburban Chicago, who’s name you’d know. This is a kind, pleasant moralism. It wasn’t until I was pumping gas at midnight on the way home about 15 years ago, I heard some guys on the radio talking about God’s mind-blowing grace, even for Christians who just can’t pull it off…the victorious Christian life. I started crying, weeping by the time I got back in my car. I didn’t think it was true, was really possible until I heard Rod and the other guys that night on the White Horse Inn. Eagle, the Church is made up of a whole bunch of really, really ,really I mean really imperfect sinners like me. I’m not going anywhere anymore now that I know the overwhelming news that I will never “get over” in this life or the next. The Gospel is for Christians too. I’m sorry that too many of the Christians you’ve know were not very blown away by God’s grace and then acted out of hypocricy and self-rightousness. I’ve been that scared person, being a hypocrite because I didn’t think at the time that God could really,really forgive me (every 5 minutes) for my sin, apathy, selfish motives etc. I wish you well. I hope you don’t stay away from a gracious Father because of some of His children, like me… Peace friend. Pat

  28. Ed says:

    One thing sruck me as odd. While Dr. Rosenbladt apologized for Luther’s speaking against the peasants and anabaptists, he had no qualms about speaking very disparagingly about the Peitists. He rather ridiculed them. Hmmm.

    • jim the Lutheran says:

      I think that’s because the pietists are the ones who cause the “brokenness” that Dr Rosenbladt is speaking about.

      His point is that our assurance is not about our feelings or works (pietism), it is about the work that Christ accomplished for us (extra nos).

  29. David says:

    I just finished listening to what Dr Rosenbladt had to say about the Gospel for Those Broken By The Church. As one from a long line of broken pietists myself, gotta say, Finally somebody gets it. I’m so grateful to hear someone saying this out loud and unblushingly condemning Pietism for being the snake in the garden that it is. Mark me down as an ex pietist for Jesus and His Gospel.

  30. GEAH says:

    Sorry, the attempts to colonize and neutralize my anger by saying you are angry too is offensive.

    • Pat Kyle says:

      GEAH,

      To whom are you speaking?

      • GEAH says:

        Dr. Rosenbladt. But he is recommending it as a strategy when encountering those of us who are mad or sad, so I am reacting more to it as a strategy.

        Failures of theology are also-rans when it comes to why people are sad or mad at the church.

        Here are more important reasons:

        1) People (not just clergy) commit real crimes against parishioners. Sexual abuse is not the only crime on this list.

        2) People in churches dump all kinds of toxic shame and guilt into people. The more fundamentalist the church the more likely this is to happen.

        3) Anti-intellectualism. Seriously, education is not the enemy of God.

  31. The war between legalistic religion, which is nothing more than man made self-righteousness, and Justification by Grace, which is the authentic Christ Crucified Gospel of salvation by free gift, has been going on for a long time. Man in his fallen Adamic state is naturally legal, and law oriented (note: the entertainment industry does best with crime dramas, cop shows, super heroes,on and on). The reason is that Adam & Eve were hard-wired that way, (tend the garden, care for the animals, do good etc.) and we have inherited their nature. Now when Grace comes along in Christ it is something new entirely. What? Free Salvation forever? “Surely I have to do SOMETHING….” Grace is foreign to our nature,is has to be drilled into us by the Holy Spirit with the Word. The Gospel of Grace IS the Word of God. All of the exhortations in the New Test to obey God’s law are not given to obtain His favor and approval. We are told to obey them (and we are very far from being able to obey them perfectly as Paul states in Rom. 7) because of our new identity “In Christ”– and as the way to show our love and gratitude for His Free Gift of Salvation. I spent 10 long yrs. in the worst kind of abuse and mis-understanding of Law & Gospel in a fundamentalist church. But God, in His great love and mysterious providence used all of it to give me the understanding of the Gospel of Grace in Christ. The reason self-righteousness is present in a person is because they have not been crushed under the weight of their sin by taking the law to its complete and utter totality which is, “be ye perfect” (they still don’t understand why Christ said THAT either). These people need to be told that they are still dirty rotten scoundrel sinners outside of Christ and His imputed righteousness….even on their best christian day. “There is NONE righteous, NO NOT ONE.” Then, and only then, when they see themselves as the publican did, who was justified before God in Luke 18; and who’s only plea before God was “Lord be merciful to me a sinner..” will they be ready for the true Gospel of Grace alone, thru Faith alone, on account of Christ alone.

    • mary S says:

      Spectacular! I am 64. Until the recent last few years I could not ‘get’ grace. It was so beyond me that I truly was despairing. Dr Rod was one of the blessings that God sent to me because I was so under the shoulds and buts and ifs…I felt like a gerbil on a wheel. And if I would just “get it right” I would be good, overcoming, victorious, blah blah blah. Such a twisted presentation of grace. Only as I became aware that God’s grace is for Christians too, and that wonderful pearl of Luther “simultaneously sinner and saint” did I finally begin to “get it”. It WAS about perfect obedience…that of Christ for me.
      Thanks for your great comment to this discussion.

  32. Devin says:

    Wow. I would have balked at this talk so hard only 6 or 7 years ago… before I went to work for the Wesleyan denomination (cited many times in the talk). The idea of “law, grace, law” with that denomination is so integrated that the leadership rarely sees it… or the wreckage it causes. The thing that has killed my family has been how those who are trying to talk about grace and bring change are emotionally divorced, demonized, and then- after they are abused- simply accused of being “bitter” without so much as an apology. Honestly, I now fully distrust any group/denomination/etc. that has “Membership Covenants” or any other such extra-biblical rules. They simply don’t have the guts to admit they are re-writing Mosaic Law. The recent part of my journey has brought me into close contact with others who have suffered church injustices- rest assured I will pass along this talk as a way to bring healing… or start the road towards it. Powerful.

    • Stuart says:

      Yeah its a real eye opener to finally understand the categories of Law & Grace. And how they apply and don’t apply to the christian. Spiritual abuse is just as bad (if not worse) than physical. I once thought I was on my way to hell no matter how much I repented. The panic was unbearable. By God’s grace & mercy I was introduced to a grace ministry and later found the White Horse Inn of which Rosenbladt is a host. I now realize it is precisely because we are all fallen sinful men….even christians who abuse each other, that affirms what the Bible says about mankind. That we are ALL sinners in need of Christ, to be our mediator, and Righteousness that is imputed or credited to us freely. We do not stop sinning and become pure and sinless when we are christians, but we are “Declared” by God (outside of ourself) as sinless, which is a totally different thing than Wesleyans practice. This progressive getting better and better stuff can drive a believer nuts. Religous condemnation can drive you nuts. But its not from the Bible, its from fallen men & women….in the church. Remember Sam Kinniston.

  33. [...] Get it or view the video here:   New Reformation Press » The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church. [...]

  34. [...] This is day by day in Jesus Christ:  today and everyday is His day of salvation.  And that includes all those who have left the church mad or sad because of  this kind of legalistic Christian religion.  A further good read is this talk by Dr. Rod Rosenbladt, emeritus professor at Concordia College-Irvine, CA and a co-host at theWhite Horse Inn radio program:   New Reformation Press » The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church. [...]

  35. debylynne says:

    why is it whenever anyone actually STANDS on the Word of God they are called “religious” and “judgmental”. i will take the Words of the LORD JESUS CHRIST any day over 10,000 mens’ opinions – no matter who they are. i think ya’ll are totally wrong in your dismissal and JUDGMENT of “kate”. i’ve walked this walk for many many years – i’ve fallen badly – i’ve been brought back into right relationship with the Lord after my great failure – i treasure His Word more than necessary food – i know i cannot “fulfill” even the requirements of “the Law of Christ” apart from Him and His ENPOWERING grace – but, His grace DOES empower me to walk and to live in a way that pleases Him according to His Word. and He has made provision for when i fail – for cleansing and forgiveness. 1 John 5:13 tells us that he has written the preceding things in the epistle of 1 John so that we “may KNOW that we have eternal life”….examine what he says, dear brothers. he acknowledges that we WILL most likely fall and need forgivenss but he also makes clear that a true believer – a true disciple of Jesus Christ does NOT WALK IN SIN – they do NOT choose a lifestyle of sin and remain in right relationship with God. we don’t “do” righteously to EARN our place with HIM – we DO righteously BECAUSE of the place we HAVE in HIM. in Matthew 25, the Lord Jesus makes it very CLEAR there will be a judgment – a division of sheep and goats – and the lives of those that are true sheep will have displayed the Love of God and the Love of the Brethren in what they have chosen to do in their lives – it DISPLAYS “who” and “whose” they are – their actions make clear that their hearts were “changed” and they WERE born again. what do i do when i do NOT see evidenced in my life all the characteristics that a Christian should walk in?? i repent and ask HIM to continue to change me. He has PROMISED to do so – to “conform” me to the image of His Dear Son. where is the faith of a little child?? i place myself in His hands and i BELIEVE that He will do IN me what He has said – i submit myself therefore to God and i RESIST the devil….all these things do NOT come out of arrogance or pride – they come out of humility…i have been a believer for 48 years – i have failed many many times – seriously failed – i have NO confidence in my own ability – but my confidence in HIS has grown and i will NOT act as if His “power” is somehow “limited” in helping me to walk in the light – to resist sin – to do that which pleases Him. no more “greasy grace” for me. i see others through eyes that understand my own weakness and failing but i do NOT make it “ok” for myself or for anyone else to walk in sin because of “personal weakness”…
    His strength is made perfect in our weakness…you should live in the Bible Belt, where “once saved, always saved” reigns supreme and the name of God is blasphemed among the unbelievers because of the unholy lives the so-called believers live before them…………….His grace IS sufficient when you are relying on His grace and not your own ability…i feel sure you will NOT care one whit for this post and that is fine, too. but, i could NOT ignore the way ya’ll jumped on “kate” who was standing up, whether you care to admit it or not, for the Word of God.

    • Jake says:

      I agree Debylynne and what do you do with all those verses in the new testament that make it clear that our behavior MATTERS to the Lord? what about the “narrow way”? It really isn’t surprising that people “Hate” you when you stand on the Word of God. He said they would.

      • Luke says:

        Noone hates anyone here. You can claim that we “hate” you, but I don’t. I really don’t care what Debylyne has written. I’ve been in her place, calling it humility when really it’s a self righteous pride that “I’m trying hard than everyone else”.

        Above – she admitted she failed, faltered and came back to God. How is that any different to what any of us have said? Instead of focusing on the goodness of God to draw us back to his loving embrace, and his promises to never leave us or forsake us, Deby (and Kate) have conditioned God’s love upon their performance, repentance and sincerity.

        What makes you think that anyone here that responded to Kate does not care about behaviour? It is our behaviour that drew us to the depths of despair in the first place, and then the condemnation from others that we were never good enough.

        This post is also nothing but self righteousness – You think you are on the narrow way, and anyone that focuses on the goodness of God and grace is simply believing “cheap grace” and is on the broad way.

        99% of the worlds religion believes in good works and behaviour. Christianity should be the exception, but unfortunately it’s not. The narrow way is the grace of God, not behaviour modification.

    • Luke says:

      Why so angry? One might be more inclined to take you seriously if you weren’t so quick to condemn. Noone condemned Kate. We shared our experiences and defended ourselves against her outburst, and it’s likely the same will happen with this post.

  36. Lora says:

    I wasn’t born into a Lutheran family but into a family that went to a United Methodist church. A church that is based upon what man does for God. It started out as a pietistic church but over the years has pretty much thrown God’s word out the window. I’ve thought all Methodists were liberal but I’m sure that’s not true. I lumped all Lutherans as Liberals but over the years I’ve discovered this isn’t true either. There are many Lutherans that hold to God’s word and rightly teach and preach it. Often folks in Holiness churches think all Lutherans are liberal and think we saying we teach a person can live any way we please and still get into heaven. I know no one in my church that believes this. But I’m sure Satan has lied to some and do. Debylynne if you think we are saying we can just throw God’s Law out the window then you are mistaken. Luther did not teach this and we can’t either. Debylynne have you ever read Luther’s Small Catechism? If you want to understand how strict God’s Law really is, read that. Or if you want a double wammy read his large Catecisum. I prefer his small. It’s full of scripture. http://bookofconcord.org/smallcatechism.php And you might find reading the Book of Concord and article V (III) of the Apology on “Love and fulfilling the Law” helpful. It will clarify what is being said here.

  37. Stuart says:

    What did kate say that made us disagree w her? She said that 90% of folks in church are lost because they are walking in unrepentant sin. And so, she is implying that those people need to stop their sin, in order to be saved. Sorry Kate , no one gets into heaven based on what they do or don’t do. If someone is sitting in church and is lost, its because they have rejected the salvation that comes thru trusting in what Christ has done in our place, and not our good works. “IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST.” EPH 2:8-9. The real meaning of repenting of sin, to be saved, is not “clean up your life.” It means to confess that you are sinner, and that you have offended God. When the philipian jailer in the book of Acts asked Paul “what shall I do to be saved,” what was Pauls answer? Clean up your life and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? Decide to stop sinning and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? No, he simply said, “BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND YOU WILL BE SAVED.” He saw that the man had indeed repented of his sin by his realization that he was a sinner and needed to be saved. Thats the first half of salvation, the second half is to rely totally on Christ’s death to pay for all your sins, not your decision to live right. Its not wrong to decide to live right, its just wrong to think God requires that to be saved. And so when Kate says that 90% are not saved, she didn’t say exactly why she thinks they are not saved. But, I think we can safely say from her previous statement that she thinks they are not saved because they have not stoped sinning. Again, we are not saved by stoping our sin, (as if anyone could stop every sin listed in the Bible anyway) we are saved by Christ’s death alone. Not Christ plus our stopping sin. I am not saying we don’t have to stop sinning. Just that it is not a condition to be saved. Before we are saved, we simply admit that we are sinners, and that we need Christ as our saviour from sin. That…is true salvation. Any ingredient of self put into the mix is not salvation. Its all of Christ. This is not “cheap grace.” Its FREE grace. (Read Galatians 3 Kate). It cost Christ a great price, but its free for us. She said we are immersed in the grace message. Well, this “grace message” happens to be the precious GOSPEL. The Bible tells us to immerse in it, if it is taught correctly. I don’t believe it is taught correctly, within the Bible belt. All you get there is a combo plate of Grace plus works = salvation. That will keep people lost, and unrepentant. But genuine Gospel preaching is to tell the lost they have broken Gods law and are sinners, and then to tell them that they are saved by God’s grace, thru Christs death on the cross. Jesus said to “go and preach the Gospel to all nations.” The Gospel of grace. We don’t stop hearing the Gospel after we are saved, because it is this very message that gives us the love that compels us to serve him. 1 Jn. says: “If God so loved us, then we ought to love one another.” And again, Jesus said “he that is forgiven much, loves much. Sorry Kate, Im going to keep teaching the Grace msg. and immersing in its love. Yes, we christians need to hear the law, but not the way you describe it as a warning, or a condition for Gods acceptance. There is no power in the law to help us obey God, it can only show us the thing to do, but it cannot give us the power, only the Gospel can do that. After we are saved, God commands us to obey His laws, but not to earn his favor. No, that has already been done by Christ. God is pleased by our good works, sure, but thats talking about the good works, not us. We ourselves, as believers, are never separated from the Love of Christ, not even our sins as believers (Romans 8). Our good works and holy living are done as a way to express our love and gratitude for our salvation. And, because of our identity in Christ. Anotherwards, we live for Him because we are now declared by God to be His children. We are no longer in Adam, but in Christ. Living for God is the natural inclination of our new Christlike nature. Just as living for self is the natural inclination of our old Adamic nature. Paul makes the same appeal to the sinfulness of the Corinthian church when he says “don’t you realize who you are now? If we obey God from fear of punishment or hope of reward we are doing it for a purely selfish motive. To benefit us, but not for God. Having said that, all believers, a lot of the time, obey God with a mixture of both motives. Simply because we still have the old nature living inside us, along with the new nature. But we should never teach others to obey God for fear of punishment or hope of reward. Thats just pure selfishness. Again, because we are doing it to save our own skin, not because we love God and want to obey Him. What do I do when I see evidence that Im not a christian? Well, first of all, a non-christian would never worry about that sort of thing. They simply don’t believe all that stuff in the first place. But in any case, I think debylynne only got a part of it right. Sure I ask him to change me etc. But I also realize that Christ died for christians too. Even when Im at my worst, Christ’s death is sufficient for my sins. ST. PAUL said in Rom. 7 “for the good that I would, I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do.” He was describing the christian life. A mixture of sinfulness and holiness. Otherwise you would have to be perfect. But his answer to his problem was not to look to his own his ability, but to look to the Gospel of Christ. And to His blood that covers his sins. When a believer has on-going sin in their life, its not because they are somehow limiting God’s Power, as debylynne suggested. No, it simply means that God has not chosen to make us perfect yet, until we die and go home to glory. He has not taken the old nature out of us, and so we still sin. Thats not a license to sin, its simply what St Paul said in Rom 7…”But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin, which is in my members.” Rom 7:23. “But the evil which I would not, that I do.” Rom 7:19. And also debylynne, if I sin because of “personal weakness,” I do not say its ok to sin all I want, or condone my sin. But, if I have sin in a certain area of my life that Im weak in, I DO say that my relationship with God…IS OK. My sin doesn’t cause God to forsake me. Because He has said “THERE IS THEREFORE NOW NO CONDEMNATION TO THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH (UNBELIEVERS) BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT (BELIEVERS). ROM 8:1. Also, 1 Jn 5:13 says “THESE THINGS HAVE I WRITTEN…… THAT YOU MAY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE…. He’s talking about believing on the name of the Son of God. Read verse 11 and 12 before verse 13. He’s talking about those verses (not the whole epistle) in 11 and 12….they give us the assurance of eternal life. A true blessing, is not when you clean up your life to make yourself feel better about your relation to God. But to understand that the christian life is a mixture of up and down behaviour, good and bad. And to understand that the answer is to that is to know and rely on Christs continual salvation and approval of you, thru His work of Redemption here on earth. We are not home in glory yet, but until then we hear Jesus’ answer when the disciples asked him “Lord, what shall we do, to do the works of God?” Jesus answered, “this is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent” Jn. 6:28-29. That is why we are not called “doers,” we are called “believers” in the New Testament. And what the New Testament means by believing is to trust and rely solely upon His work done in our place, for our salvation. Justification by grace alone, thru faith alone, on account of Christ alone.
    — On Tue, 11/15/11, New Reformation Press

  38. Lora says:

    GREAT WORDS Stuart!!! I wish I had you around when I was trying to explain this to a Pelagian street preachers. So many of them are preaching more like Pharisees then Christians. And people wonder why Christians are so hated by the world. It’s because they think they are sinless and are into comparative righteousness always using man as a measuring stick and not God and His holiness. It’s amazing how many people there are out there that think like this. But the word does say that the anti-Christ will come from inside of the church.

  39. Stuart says:

    Thanks for your encouragement, Lora. This subject is very important. Someone once said, “the main source of all abuse within the church is a misunderstanding of Law & Gospel.” If I see any pelagian street preachers here in L.A, I’ll let you know.

  40. R.C. says:

    What a shame this guy keeps thinking that “Roman” Catholic teaching is incompatible with the gospel of pure grace.

    Apparently, he’s never read any actual Catholic writers describing what they believe, and has only gotten reports from dejected ex-Catholics who’re trying to work their way into heaven in exactly the same way as all those dejected ex-Lutherans who, for the same reasons, think they’re trying to work their way into heaven.

    THAT IS NOT THE CATHOLIC TEACHING. (It never has been. Look it up. Even the Council of Trent doesn’t teach it, provided you interpret it in continuity with existing teaching — like Catholics do — rather than in an unsympathetic way and in isolation. This is what Catholics call “the hermeneutic of continuity,” and it is the overriding interpretative dictum for reading their promulgated documents.)

    Now, Catholic Christianity doesn’t teach “Sola Fide” because that phrase is anti-scriptural and unknown to the Church Fathers and the tradition received from the Apostles. (Again: Look it up: “Faith alone” appears once in all of Scripture, in James 2, and appears there only to explicitly say that we are NOT saved by “faith alone.”)

    But Catholic Christianity does teach “Faith working in Love.” (Which IS Scriptural.) Note: Working IN LOVE. Not working “in a desperate attempt to be adequate,” or working “apart from grace.” Only the Holy Spirit can place in the heart of a Christian an attitude of loving gratitude towards God: Love, then, is a gift of grace.

    But faith “working in love” is the only kind of “work” that Catholic Christianity permits as being of any value in the walk of the believer. Therefore the only kind of “work” permitted is a “work of grace,” not a “work of the Law (=Torah).” These “works of grace” are those described by Paul as “good works which God has prepared beforehand that we might walk in them.” They’re obviously provided by God; we can’t just come up with them on our own. The desire to do them is provided by God; we can’t just will to want them. They strength to do them is also provided by God, as He gives us grace “both to will and to do” them.

    That is what Scripture teaches. And it is what the Catholic faith teaches, and has taught from the Pentecost until now.

    But of course Catholic parishes present this teaching badly, just as Lutheran teachers and Calvinist teachers and Methodist teachers do.

    And thus there are legions of ex-Catholics and ex-Lutherans and ex-Whatevers fleeing either out of Christianity altogether, or to the least theologically-rigorous worship communities they can find.

    There are of course differences between Protestant and Catholic (and Eastern Orthodox) teaching. I do not for a moment deny that.

    But those differences are irrelevant to the topic being discussed in this video. With respect to people angered or crushed by their interactions with the Church, all Protestant teachers stand with all Catholic and Eastern Orthodox teachers as equally condemned, in proportion with their theological rigor and lack of antinomianism. (This is why people fleeing this bad-church experience, but not wanting to leave Christianity, flee towards theologically-flaky and antinomian congregations.)

  41. Rich says:

    I hope this small article from the Christian Apologetics Research Ministries (C.A.R.M.) helps clear some issues up for people.

    Are we saved by faith alone, or do we need works, too?

    by Matt Slick

    Roman Catholics often mention that the Bible never says we are saved by faith alone and that the phrase “faith alone” occurs only once in James where it says that we are not saved by faith alone. If this is so, then why do the Protestants say we are justified by faith alone and not by works? Because the Bible teaches that we are justified by faith alone, and not by works.

    The following is a list of verses about being saved by faith. Please take note that faith and works are contrasted. In other words, we are saved by faith “not by works” and “apart from works”, etc. The point is that there are only two options. We are saved by faith alone or we are not. Since we have faith and works (both conceptually and in practice), then we are either saved by faith alone or by faith and works. There is no other option.

    If we see that the scriptures exclude works in any form as a means of our salvation, then logically, we are saved by faith alone. Let’s take a look at what the Bible says about faith and works. Then, afterwards, we will tackle James’ statement about “faith alone”.

    Rom. 3:28-30, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.”
    Rom. 4:5, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,”
    Rom. 5:1, “therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”
    Rom. 9:30, “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith.”
    Rom. 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
    Rom. 11:6, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”
    Gal. 2:16, “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”
    Gal. 2:21, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.
    Gal.3:5-6, “Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 6Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
    Gal. 3:24, “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith.”
    Eph. 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. 9Not by works, lest any man should boast.”
    Phil. 3:9, “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”

    Again, works/Law is contrasted with faith repeatedly and we are told that we are not justified by works in any way. Therefore, we are made right with God by faith, not by faith and our works; hence, faith alone.
    James 2:24, not by faith alone

    The scriptures clearly teach that we are saved (justified) by faith in Christ and what He has done on the cross. This faith alone saves us. However, we cannot stop here without addressing what James says in James 2:24, “You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone.”

    There is no contradiction. All you need to do is look at the context. James chapter 2 has 26 verses: Verses 1-7 instruct us not to show favoritism. Verses 8-13 are comments on the Law. Verses 14-26 are about the relationship between faith and works.

    James begins this section by using the example of someone who says he has faith but has no works, “What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14). In other words, James is addressing the issue of a dead faith, a faith that is nothing more than a verbal pronouncement, a public confession of the mind, and is not heart-felt. It is empty of life and action. He begins with the negative and demonstrates what an empty faith is (verses 15-17, words without actions). Then he shows that type of faith isn’t any different from the faith of demons (verse 19). Finally, he gives examples of living faith that has words followed by actions. Works follow true faith and demonstrate that faith to our fellow man, but not to God. James writes of Abraham and Rahab as examples of people who demonstrated their faith by their deeds.

    In brief, James is examining two kinds of faith: one that leads to godly works and one that does not. One is true, and the other is false. One is dead, the other alive; hence, “Faith without works is dead,” (James 2:20). But, he is not contradicting the verses above that say salvation/justification is by faith alone.

    Also, notice that James actually quotes the same verse that Paul quotes in Rom. 4:3 amongst a host of verses dealing with justification by faith. James 2:23 says, “and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, and Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.’” If James was trying to teach a contradictory doctrine of faith and works than the other New Testament writers, then he would not have used Abraham as an example. Therefore, we can see that justification is by faith alone and that James was talking about false faith, not real faith when he said we are not justified by faith alone.

  42. Lora says:

    I think this video is talking to folks that have a dead faith because they think their good works saves or justifies them. I’ve been talking with some men who are street preachers and are training others to preach a gospel of works. They have such a hard wall build by their own good works that no matter what scripture you give them they still can’t see that faith and repentance are both gifts given to us through the gospel. These people beat Christians up with a continuing call to moral perfection. They have redefined much of the bible.

    R.C. you said, “This is why people fleeing this bad-church experience, but not wanting to leave Christianity, flee towards theologically-flaky and antinomian congregations. These folks are not theologically-flaky or antinomian. Just the opposite. They are very law driven and I believe either hurt Christians because they never see they are good enough or they produce very self righteous folks. Take a look at some of their writings on this page. Even antinomian churches think they are saved by their good works and not by faith alone. I have family in very liberal churches that have no assurance of their salvation because they say, “I hope I’ve been good enough to get into heaven”. The gospel is something they don’t understand. Or at least the proper distinction between law and gospel. http://www.libraryoftheology.com/writings.html

  43. R.C. says:

    Lora:

    Fair enough; I admit that it’s not a move I’ve made (I haven’t “fled” towards another church because of feeling crushed with or angered by the church) so I assumed rather than knew that the churches people were fleeing to were churches with an antinomian bent (when they didn’t just leave the church altogether).

    I assumed that because I guessed that if what you’re being “slammed” by is too much “law” and not enough “grace”, your natural desire is to find a place overflowing with antinomianism; i.e., getting away from any mention of God’s law. It doesn’t seem to me that there’s much point fleeing from legalism to another place that’s legalistic.

    But then perhaps we’re not being specific enough about what folk are fleeing. It could very well be that folk are fleeing from churches where the proclamation of God’s moral law leaves them feeling condemned ABOUT SPECIFIC ISSUES; and that they therefore flee those churches towards churches where those issues are downplayed or permitted, even though the new churches still incorrectly preach graceless law about other topics.

    For example, you mention your family in very liberal churches. I can imagine a family member who wrestles with same-sex attraction disorder (a difficult temptation, and those who wrestle with it need from us the kind of grace that the woman caught in adultery saw from Christ) leaving a Southern Baptist or a Catholic or an Orthodox or a Missouri Synod Lutheran church, and opting instead to attend an Episcopal Church with a gay bishop, where the preaching tells you that the only reliable way to get into heaven is to “love the poor,” primarily by supporting welfare state programs.

    (I’m giving an extreme, almost caricaturish, example, just for clarity’s sake; please forgive the crudeness of it.)

    In that example, the church they wind up in is no less legalistic than the one they left; it may in some ways be more so. But it will FEEL less legalistic to them because the issues which are most difficult for them are not the focus of that particular church’s legalism. They get to “work their way into heaven,” they think…but it’s the work they find easiest and sidesteps the work they find most daunting.

    All that is to say: I grant that I spoke too loosely in saying that folk were fleeing from legalism towards antinomianism; it may be that they’re fleeing from a kind of legalism towards another kind. But it’s still not the gospel of grace.

  44. R.C. says:

    Rich:

    I’m familiar with Matt Slick’s article and with C.A.R.M.; I naturally disagree with Slick’s interpretation of the Catholic teaching.

    I don’t want to take this thread off-topic and turn it into a tangle about whether what Luther criticized in the Catholic teaching of his era was really part of that teaching at all, or whether it was only what the poorly-trained priests of his acquaintance (e.g. Tetzel) were teaching erroneously (in the sense of being unfaithful to the Catholic faith they were supposed to know and teach).

    My own view was that on the subject of salvation, Martin Luther was merely a Catholic monk, who rediscovered a Catholic doctrine, in a Catholic book (the Bible).

    I articulate that doctrine as Salvation By Grace Alone, Through Faith, In Christ Alone. Anyone familiar with that formulation will see that I said “Through Faith,” not “Through Faith Alone.” I can’t do the latter because I just can’t see my way to using a phrase that flatly, word-for-word, contradicts James.

    But I acknowledge, of course, that (informed) Protestants who use that phrase do NOT mean by it that raw belief in a set of intellectual propositions produces salvation. That’s the kind of faith the demons have according to James, “and shudder.”

    Even though Protestants may say “faith alone,” they do not, if they know what they’re talking about, mean by it that believing that Jesus is the Son of God, while remaining in willful and unrepentant emnity to him, is salvific! That’s the view of “faith alone” which is condemned by the Catholic bishops in the Council of Trent.

    But the realization that that condemnation doesn’t apply to what (informed) Lutherans actually mean by “faith alone” was what permitted the Joint Declaration by Catholics and Lutherans back in 1999.

    Now of course the usual Protestant response to James chapter 2 is to bring out the whole list of passages from Paul, which Matt Slick reproduces and Rick lists here. Fair enough.

    One cannot, of course, safely play “I have more verses than you” as if “majority rule wins”: For if even one verse’s meaning, in the original intent of the sacred author, contradicts another, then the Word of God is not infallible and thus not of God. We don’t want to go there!

    So the correct way for a Catholic to reply is to reconcile all of these Pauline verses both with James 2, and also with the many points in the Gospels where Jesus seems to say that certain willfully-chosen acts on our part are apparently requirements for salvation.

    (E.g., the “good work” of forgiving others their sins, without which the Father will not forgive yours, the “good work” of caring for the least of these, without which one receives “eternal punishment,” the “good work” of “believing in Him who the Father sent,” which means that belief is itself a work, and the “good work” of eating His flesh and drinking His blood, without which one is not “raised on the last day.”)

    The verses in Paul must be reconciled with all of these.

    To do this, Catholics first point out that not one of these verses uses the phrase “faith alone”; hence the Catholic preference for the more-scriptural formulation “faith working in love” instead of the phrase “faith alone,” which makes any reader of James slightly itchy.

    Now most of the Pauline verses say “faith” but don’t come close to saying “faith alone.”

    Four of them do, though. Four of them sound a bit like they’re saying “faith alone.” I will list those four, and then show how Catholics interpret them so as to remain compatible with James 2 and with Jesus’ words in the Gospels.

    The first verse:

    Rom. 3:28-30, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.”

    The Catholic response to this is that Paul is using the popular 1st-century phrasing which in Aramaic and Hebrew is “Works of the Torah” and, because “Torah” means “Law,” when translated to Greek it becomes “Works of the Law.” This phrase “Works of the Torah (=Law)” refers to the ceremonial requirements of the Torah; e.g. circumcision, ceremonial washings, et cetera.

    We know this from various sources; for example the Dead Sea Scrolls contain a document which explains the Essene community’s reasons for separating themselves from participation in Jerusalem temple worship, stating that the Pharisees in Jerusalem weren’t doing “the Works of Law” properly: Not properly doing all the sacrifices and ceremonial washings and whatnot. This debate lasted until Paul’s era and Paul would have certainly developed opinions about it under his tutelage with Gamaliel.

    Knowing that Paul is using this phrase to refer to the ceremonial requirements of the Law makes this passage and others perfectly clear. Interpreting it to refer to righteous actions in general, including those prompted by love of God, would make Paul contradict both himself, and James, and Jesus.

    For of course Paul is making the point that the “righteous requirement of the Law” (that is to say, the Moral Law) IS known to the Gentiles (as he plainly states in Romans 2:12-15), and that it is only the ceremonial requirement, which justifies no-one, that was given to the Jews only. Paul says that it is crazy to say that the ceremonial requirement (the “works of the Law”) can justify, since only the Jews ever had that: “Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also?” But both Jews and Gentiles had the understanding of the need for righteousness; therefore Paul says in chapter 2: “There is no bias with God.12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without the law: and as many as have sinned under the law shall be judged by the law; 13 for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified: 14 (for when Gentiles that have not the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are the law unto themselves 15 in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to it.”

    So, that handles the first Pauline verse which is put in opposition to James.

    Here’s the second:

    Rom. 4:4-5, “Now to him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned as of grace, but as of debt. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.”

    Here Paul asserts that we do not earn salvation by working for it as if we were laborers who could earn a wage from God and put God in our debt, the way a laborer puts his employer in his debt by working. Catholics are obligated to agree with this 100%. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation from God on the basis of our works, because the only good works we can do that matter are those which God gives us by His grace to do…and if He hadn’t given them, we couldn’t do them, so even these, though outwardly it looks like we’re doing them, inwardly we know that God is the source of them. Our doing those works for God is a lot like a child buying a Christmas gift for his father, purchased with money the father gave him for that purpose. Who can say that, after receiving such a gift, the dad is in debt to the child?

    This in no way states that we can be saved if, after faith, we refuse to do any of the good things the Holy Spirit grants us to do by grace. That would be “the faith of demons” again.

    But if we receive those good opportunities also as gifts, then we find it is not we who are working, but God who works in us. We can claim no credit for them; any reward God gives us is but Him “crowning” His own works in us.

    That’s the second verse. Here’s the third:

    Rom. 11:6, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”

    This also a Catholic is obligated to confirm. He may interpret “works” in this context either as referring “Works of Law” (=ceremonial requirement of the Torah) or, as it does in Romans 4:4, “Working Like A Laborer Who Hopes To Put His Employer In His Debt And Thereby Earn Salvation As A Wage.” Neither of those kinds of “works” produces justification according to Catholic teaching; thus Catholic teaching agrees wholly with this verse.

    The only thing that matters is “faith working in love”: That faith which does not resist God’s grace but receives it, responds with love, and consequently overflows into doing those particular works which God by His grace has “prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

    That’s the third verse. Here’s the fourth:

    Gal. 2:16, “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”

    This is clearly a writing against the Judaizers and their insistence on “Works of Law”; that is, trying to be justified by fulfilling the ceremonial requirements of the Torah. We see this in chapter 5 when Paul wishes the Judaizers would just go the whole way and “emasculate themselves!”

    And as for the rest of the verses listed, they don’t even come close to saying “faith alone,” and are entirely compatible with the formulation “faith working in love.” The Galatians verses lead up to Galatians 5:6 where Paul explicitly says that “the only thing which counts is faith working in (or through) love.” So it makes sense that all the Galatians verses should be understood in that context.

    Folks, sorry about the long post.

    I only give it to defend my earlier proposition: That Catholics and Lutherans and Calvinists alike stand together as equally guilty of causing people to become “crushed by the church” because of their failure to properly teach grace.

    I therefore agree with the central thesis of the original video.

    It is only with the side thesis of the man in the video (namely, that “earned righteousness through works” is somehow a Catholic teaching, which it isn’t) that I disagree. That man puts Catholics as somehow outside the boat of grace. I contend that the boat of grace is the Barque of St. Peter, and that his successor is very much IN that boat…but that Catholic parishes are just as guilty as Lutherans and Wesleyans of failing to teach grace, thereby leading to crushed and angry souls.

    So, I wish the guy in the video hadn’t gotten that wrong. (16th century gunshots still echo today, apparently.) But with his primary thesis, I entirely agree.

  45. MsKSD says:

    Thank you R.C. for your very interesting clarification of Catholic doctrine. Perhaps we (Prot/RC) are not as far apart as we think.

  46. [...] [Before you make an ignorant comment, read this and this.  And then watch or listen to this.] [...]

  47. Michael N says:

    I wish more in my Baptist community could hear this. Sound the Gong of Grace! Thank you for posting this wonderful presentation. It was a wonderful salve after years of “woundedness.” My friends now call me a “Baptheran.”

  48. Brent Donoho says:

    R.C., is there a way to get in contact with you privately? I really liked what you wrote and you seem to really know your stuff.

  49. [...] The following is a transcript of “The Gospel for Those Broken by the Church,” a lecture given by Dr. Rod Rosenbladt at Faith Lutheran Church in Capistrano Beach, California on November 7, 2010. In this popular yet challenging talk, Rosenbladt argues that the gospel of Jesus Christ is sufficient to save even those whom our churches have either rejected or destroyed. The video version of this presentation is included at the end of this transcript, as is its sequel, “Christianity in Five Verses,” in audio form. The transcript, video, and audio are provided here with the kind permission of New Reformation Press. [...]

  50. Peter says:

    A timely broadcast and commentary at the White Horse Inn on “Antinomianism”, and the discussion includes the Questions 87-91 of the Heidelberg Cat on this very issue). It shows, once again, that the issue is TIME (as sanctification is a process), and as the Heidelberg Cat uses the words “more and more”.

    http://www.whitehorseinn.org/blog/2012/06/03/whi-1104-antinomianism-part-1/#comments

    http://www.wts.edu/resources/creeds/heidelberg.html#81

    As people’s lives are a composite of background and experience (mad, sad) many can take longer to manifest the “evidentiary” presence of the Holy Spirt’s (Supernatural) works. But as many theologians have written, if one is truly repentant in seeking God and trusts in Christ’s finished work, one will change. It is inevitable. But it is on God’s timetable, and not for others to judge, or ours to worry. We simply do the “best we can”, one day at a time. We seek progress, not perfection, and trust in God, not ourselves. (Luther’s Gospel of Glory(?))

    Perhaps the question here boils down to our definition of “works” and our pragmatic 20th century definition (as White Horse has well positioned in other broadcasts).
    “Meritorious” works (of Natural Effort) vs “Evidentiary”works (of God’s Supernatural presence.

    We know our own “merit based” pragmatic ideas are of no means of “earning” salvation. Witness every other major religion’s structure .. attempting to work “up” to God while they “seek Him”). And the tragic result of that nature is “mad”, “sad”, “chewed up” and violent (extremism).

    Christianity is the only one where we see a God seeking Man, and reconciliation as a “gift”. And once that gift is truly grasped and received, we WILL grow, and it will be ‘evident’ if we truly have taken that gift; and it will be God working in us, and through us. The less we resist (our natural sinful nature over many years) the more evidence we’ll see. And we can rest and take comfort in that. Growing at God’s pace, and not at the pace of some legalist pastor, denomination or peer group.

    We’re all on a journey. We cannot judge “pace” of another accurately, so we must be careful; our first responsibility to brothers and sisters is to buoy them up, not cause them to stumble while the Spirit works it’s wondrous ways. And Blogs are a notoriously limited (and contentious) place to try and accurately communicate the subtleties of a believer’s “state” in their journey, nor a writer’s true heart and meaning. :-)

  51. Carol W Rose says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! We are not the only ones dealing with this within our family. It happened with my parents, who becamed reconciled with the Lord near the end of their lives, and then with our own children. There is hope and someone interested in helping us communicate! God bless you, Dr. Rosenbladt, New Reformation Press, and Orange County Outreach! I’ve been crying out for a way to internalize this message!
    Carol the crier

  52. [...] To those who have been hurt, in particular by legalistic, moralistic, holiness, or seeker driven churches, and to pastors who minister to them, I very highly recommend this short and comforting lecture by Dr. Rod Rosenbladt. And part two, the Gospel in Five Verses. These and other resources from Dr. Rosenbladt can be found at New Reformation Press. [...]

  53. Nicole says:

    Religion is the worse thing a person can get. Christ is needed to bring about true salvation. Religion can’t save you, church can’t save you. They may feed you now, but Christ offers life for Eternity. It is a sad truth that so many churches are nothing more than a social outreach which have left so many hungry and or bitter for the only thing they truly need.

  54. Aaron says:

    The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant is one that more Christians should really read. Then they should realize that they are that servant. Especially when they go around judging and condemning other people for not living up to their standards.

    True holiness will always involve becoming more aware of ones own sins, that is the irony but reality of Christian life.

  55. Hope says:

    Oh. When I saw the title of this I thought it was going to be for Lutheran pastors and their families…

  56. Polly says:

    thank you, i’m in the UK ………… i came across you by chance and you helped x

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