It is a daunting undertaking. One I was apprehensive about. I was doubtful that the problems could be covered in a book that is only 320 pages long. Overall, Todd’s book accomplishes what it was intended to do. In an effort to promote what I deem a necessary work, I would strongly encourage all Christians to purchase and read this book. However, I don’t want to spoil any of the, “Ah-ha!” “Amen!” or “Ouch!” moments. This means that I won’t reveal all of my favorite quotes. The full title of the book is, “Judge Not, How A Lack Of Discernment Led To Drunken Pastors, Peanut Butter Armpits, & The Fall Of A Nation.” The title is no misrepresentation to act as a hook. It is a hook, don’t get me wrong. It is just very true and disturbing. The astonishing authenticity of it is the hook.
For those tens and tens of loyal listeners, Todd needs no introduction, but for the rest of the world, Todd Friel is the host of the Christian radio program, “Wretched Radio.” He is also the host of, “Wretched TV” on NRB network. Todd and the guys over at Wretched, put out quality programs, Biblically addressing issues and trends, that concern us as Christians. Todd’s previous book, “Jesus Unmasked” detailed, and highlighted Christ through the entire Bible. I was curious about his latest book, because his previous one was so good. Even though it was a hard act to follow, he can be happy with his latest book. It was quite different from his previous one.
We look around and wonder how we got here. As a kid, I was raised in a home without Church. My parents were both former Roman Catholics. Mom is Italian. Her family was traditionally Roman Catholic. My Dad’s family is German, and very Roman Catholic as well. Both of my parents deserted the religion of their families for different reasons. My Mom left because her family deserted her, and disowned her because she was a child of mixed blood. Her Dad was Lithuanian, NOT Italian! My Mother was also enjoying the freedom of the 60’s. My Father left Roman Catholicism after reading the Bible for himself. They decided to raise us without formal religion and to allow us to figure it out for ourselves. I grew up thinking that all of the people who went to a Church were Christians. I had now idea how wrong I was. Whenever I was invited to a Church for Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Mormon Talks, SDA, Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall, or Mass, I thought they were all Christians. I was so confused by the variances and disparities I witnessed. From the 60’s on to present day, Churches in America have done little to help people like me who were lost.
With chapter headings like, “Happy Clappy Church, Twisting Scripture, Messed-up Messianic Movements, and Gospel Off-centeredness” Todd takes aim at pretty much all of the problems with the modern Church in America. Many of the things he brings forward have been concerns of mine for years. Some of the things were new to me. I had no idea some of those things were going on. If you are like me and have been keenly aware that something is wrong, and perhaps you weren’t quite able to put your finger on it then this is the book for you.
We’ve probably all been to a, “Happy Clappy” Church. They are the ones that solely focus on God’s love. They are generally pretty seeker sensitive and rely on entertaining the masses. Many of us have friends or family in the Messianic movement and have concerns. Todd echoes these concerns and talks frankly about the problems within the movement. Todd also shines light on the New Apostolic Movement. Very troubling things are coming out of it. It also is being accepted as orthodox by many well meaning Christians.
This book was a quick read. It usually takes me quite a while to read a theology book, but with Todd’s sense of humor and direct approach, I was able to read it pretty quick. If you have read some religious books and found them to be dry or slow, you won’t have this problem here. Todd’s writing is engaging and intelligent. Get this book and read it. After you are done, you’ll be able to think of at least a few people you know who will need to read it as well. I really enjoyed it and it helped me gain some needed perspective on the state of the Church, the gospel, evangelism, and what I can do to help. You can purchase your copy from Wretched’s store, or Amazon.