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Entries in religion (9)

Monday
Jul232012

New podcast: "If I really do have a good and noble heart, then why does the evidence seem to suggest otherwise?" -Guest Joel Brueske joins Jim.

Joel Brueseke [see his insightful GraceRoots podcast] joins me as we try to offer encouragement for Christians who do want to believe that their heart is now good and noble because of Christ's redeeming work for them, but who continue to struggle to live from that new-hearted goodness.


Podcast:  "If I really do have a good and noble heart, then why does the evidence seem to suggest otherwise?"  [Special guest, Joel Brueseke of GraceRoots.com]

 

 

In the podcast, Joel and I address:

  • Why does my experience seem to suggest my heart really isn't good, noble and true?

  • Why truth must drive experience and not the other way around.

  • What about us is "finished" and what is still "unfinished?"

  • What happened to the "Accuser" in our worldview?  "Warfare" has been grossly abused in the Church, but for the sake of our hearts, the idea is worth revisiting.

  • Why multiple exposures to the truth is necessary so that our minds, emotions and bodies can catch up to the truth about our new and noble hearts.

  • Should you leave a church that preaches a performance-based, "bad-heart" message?

  • Resources for finding new-hearted community and messages. 

................................................................................................................

You can find new-hearted community - people who want to live from their good and noble heart - on the "COMMUNITY" page on my website.  The focus is simple:

1.  Where are you finding it difficult to live from your good and noble heart?

2.  Where are you finding encouragement to live from your good and noble heart?

Monday
Jan162012

How would you answer these questions about your heart?


Here are a couple questions to help you determine if you believe your heart is your ally and not your enemy:

1.  Can you trust the desires of your heart, or do you think those desires will lead you astray?

2.  Do you believe your heart is as pure as Jesus' heart?

3.  When you sin repeatedly, is your first reaction to feel powerless, defeated?

4.  Would you refer to yourself as a "sinner?"

5.  Do you think sanctification [holiness] is something that will happen to you someday, or has already happened?

 

Answers:

1.  Yes, I can trust the desires of my heart.  [Not the desires of my flesh, but the desires of my heart, my new nature.]  The timing for the fulfillment of those desires often requires discernment and long-suffering; but Jesus intends on honoring the noble desires of my new heart.

2.  Yes, my heart [new nature] is as pure as Jesus' heart.  Why?  He gave me his own goodness.  His holines is my new nature.  Otherwise I wouldn't be able to "love others as I have loved you."

3.  No.  I may feel conviction, but not condemnation.  Frustrated, but not powerless.  My sin is no longer who I really am.  Even better, my new heart has the power to overcome sin's allure because it no longer wants what sin promises.

4.  No.  I am a saint, restored to a glory that even unfallen Adam and Eve didn't enjoy.

5.  No.  Jesus has already sanctified my heart, my true nature.  I can still sin, but it's no longer in my heart to do so.  The cause of my sin is no longer my heart, but rather a foreign invader called "sin" cooperating with my flesh. I am no longer striving to be good.  I'm simply trusting the Spirit to release the goodness he's already place within my heart.

 

HOW DID YOU ANSWER?

If you had contrary answers to any of these questions, you may have heard the same message about your heart that I did for many years:  "Your heart is prone to wander."   It's not true.  Not any longer.  Being a "new creation" means that Jesus has removed the ruined heart and replaced it with a noble and radiant heart.  

In Christ, your heart becomes your ally, not your enemy.

 

Related Resources:

 

Saturday
May082010

'HOW TO SHAME A CHRISTIAN' -- mini-movie

I created this mini-movie to expose some of the wounding, shame-based messages Christians hear. 

Monday
Nov162009

LISTEN NOW: 'The Naked Gospel' interview with Andrew Farley

Andrew and I talked about his fantastic new book, The Naked Gospel - the truth you may never hear in church.  Find out what Andrew says about our new identity and freedom.  It really is a lot better than we've been told.

  • Should Christians really obey the moral law in the Ten Commandments?
  • Do we really have pure and good hearts - the very same that Jesus had?
  • Can Christians trust their hearts?

The answers may surprise you!

...................................................
Click player below to listen.



As always, feel free to leave your comments below!

Tuesday
Nov032009

'The Naked Gospel' quiz

Hear the provocative interview with Andrew Farley, author of The Naked Gospel - the truth you may never hear in church.   The author even has a quiz, and the answers will surprise many.  Here's the quiz, taken from www.thenakedgospel.com:

The Naked Gospel Quiz
Below are ten faith-related concepts that don't seem to be regularly discussed in many churches today. But our view on each of these concepts affects our relationship with God, our spiritual growth and our fulfillment in life. So for each of the ten concepts, decide whether you think each is true or false, and you'll be presented with the answers at the end of the quiz.

1. Christians should ask God to forgive and cleanse them when they sin.
True or False

2. Christians struggle with sin because of their old self within.
True or False

3. We should wait on God even before making everyday decisions.
True or False

4. When we sin against God, we're out of fellowship until we repent. *
True or False

5. Old Testament law is written on Christians' hearts so we want to obey it.
True or False

6. The Bible tells us that Christians can obtain many rewards in heaven.
True or False

7. Christians will give an account for their sins at the great white throne. 
True or False

8. Christians should tithe at least 10 percent of their income to the church.
True or False

9. God gets angry with us when we repeatedly sin against him. 
True or False

10. God looks at us as though we're righteous, even though we're really not.
True or False

(Andrew Farley says that the answer to each of the above is false.)  Decide for yourself.
Hear Steve Brown's interview with Andrew Farley, author of The Naked Gospel.

Tuesday
Oct202009

"The Misunderstood God" - review

Our emotional health is directly tied to our view of God.  Faulty assumptions about God will sabotage your heart.  For that reason, I highly recommend Darin Hufford's new book, The Misunderstood God - the lies religion tells us about God, because the book so ably exposes those harmful assumptions and invites the reader into a deeper freedom. 

The book also has staying power.  I found myself reflecting on key portions of the book long after I'd read it.  The chapter exposing the myth of  "The Angry God" reminded me that, "Love is not easily provoked."  And despite what we may have been told, the Holy Spirit is not easily wounded or offended.  Our God's heart remains supple and open without the fragile neurosis that plagues most of us.  We need him to be strong like that.

This book will help you get that heavy pack of religious assumptions and misunderstandings off your back, because you were never meant to carry that.

Here's a link to Darin Hufford's website.

Wednesday
Jul082009

Hearing the podcast with Darin Hufford -- solution

Click here to hear the interview.

Darin is the author of The Misunderstood God, and the creator of The Free Believers Network. We talked about his book, how religious thinking (vs. the Gospel) has distorted love, and what it means to be a free believer.

 

Friday
Jul032009

TODAY - "THE MISUNDERSTOOD GOD" - interview with Darin Hufford

Darin Hufford, author of the upcoming book, THE MISUNDERSTOOD GOD - THE LIES RELIGION TELLS US ABOUT GOD, will join me on the podcast. The book will be published by Windblown Media -- publishers of THE SHACK. Darin is also the creator of The Free Believers Network that is helping church return to its natural habitat.

Episode airs on Monday, July 6th.  1 p.m. Eastern.  Podcast will be available for download following the 'live' episode.


CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

Monday
Mar022009

Religious moralism

Certain things make the hair on the back of my neck bristle. 
Religious moralism
is one of them.

The pastor of the church where I had previously led a men's event approached me and said, "Hey.  Just wanted to let you know we received a complaint in the office..."

This was a church where I had led an on-campus men's retreat.  As was my custom, I offered the guys cigars after the session was over.  It helps dispel the notion that Christian guys just don't do that kind of thing, and lets the men know this isn't a religious thing we're after. 

So the pastor of that church went on to say that someone found out we had smoked cigars (on church grounds) after the event.  He said he, "personally didn't have a problem with that kind of thing" but that it could cause some guys to "stumble."  (Now, I'm not personally aware of a 12-step group for cigar smokers.) I also told him I never make it an obligation, only an option, for those who want to stay afterwards and enjoy a cigar and some comraderie.

The pastor continued by telling me we could go off-campus or to someone's house if we wanted to enjoy cigars. Well, isn't that gracious and accomodating.

When I, with neck hairs bristling, said this religious moralism was exactly the kind of thing the world hates about the church, he said, "Well, I have to relate to various groups of people in the church..." -- meaning, "Even though my personal convictions tell me there's nothing wrong with this, I'm too timid to confront the Pharisee that made the complaint."

Ever been in a fellowship or church where this kind of religious moralism became obvious to you?  Would this kind of thing happen if the biblical notion of a believer's new heart had been taught?