Hello, my name is inconsequential. My Boss has sent me to you with a message. You belong to Him. You are His property. He owns you. You are His person, and he is very angry with you. You have broken His laws. For that, He is going to kill, and punish you. It is not a matter of if, but when. It is a certainty. You will not escape it. My Boss will kill you. You will meet Him. You will bow to Him, and be judged for breaking His laws. He will punish you. You will bow to Him in this life, or the next. Because He is good, and loving, while you still breath my Boss makes you this offer, apologize, ask Him to forgive you, search yourself, see the truth, that you are not innocent, but you are guilty. Humbly bow down, and submit yourself to His rule. Serve Him. Believe in the work that His Son did on the cross to pay your debt to Him. If you become His servant, as I have, He will change you into a new creature. You will hate what He hates, and love what He loves. You will still die, but you will not be punished for eternity. Instead you will enter into rest. Because His Son endured the eternal punishment, He offers you grace, and mercy instead of giving you what would be just for Him to do. You will be in His glorious presence, and enjoy Him forever. This offer is only good for a short time. You have moments, days, years, or perhaps He will kill you right now…
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.
To all of my family and friends, who think that I have become too religious, fanatical, or that I am one of those Christians who push their religion down everyone’s throat’s, please consider this; If I truly believe what the Bible says about Hell, if I believe all people who have not repented of sin and put their faith in Christ are going to spend eternity in Hell, having the wrath of God poured out on them forever, and I just live my happy little life without warning you of the Hell to come for you, how is that loving? I would be actively hating you and not obedient to God. My love for Him and you compels me to warn you! Wake up! A faith in God is fine. Everyone believes in God. Even the devil and the demons believe in God so you are in the company of demons, congratulations. The Faith that saves is more than just an intellectual affirmation that God exists and you believe in Him. You might even affirm that Jesus is God and that He died for your sins, that won’t save you either. Many people sit in Church on Sunday and say they believe, but they have not been crucified with Christ. They have not been born again as a new person. They don’t even understand what that means, because it hasn’t happened to them. They think they are, but they can’t know until God has regenerated them, and justified them, granting them true faith and repentance that leads to life. You can believe in God and live the same life you were before, because you don’t truly believe what He says, or what He has done. Truly believing in God means you will believe what He says and live life according to His truth. So what you do will seem strange to everyone who does not trust what He says in His word. If I explain to you how a parachute works and how you are to use it, but if you act as if you don’t truly believe me or trust me, or the parachute, when the airplane is in trouble, you will sit in your seat and hope for the best as you plummet to your death. If what I had told you changed your thinking towards the parachute, you will put it on and use it. Faith applied in action is true faith. It must change you. You must behave as it is true. If I were the only one who could truly see that there was a pit of fire in front of millions of people and they were all about to fall in, even if I warned them, they would insist I was crazy, but what if I wasn’t? What if they were just blind to it? Christians truly see what is actual, because God has opened their eyes. If you are not truly saved you are blind to the hell to come. We simply love you too much to not warn you. Repent, turn away from your sins, let them go, don’t hold on to any remnant of your old life, let the old man be killed and buried, be born anew as a servant of God. Believe Him and His work on the cross. Jesus is God and He has shed His precious blood to pay for your sins. Believe in and on Him for your salvation and live out the new life He has brought you into.
I’ve been reading lots of unbiblical articles and posts, written by Christians who are criticizing the opponents of gay marriage. Most of these articles misquote and twist scripture. Which is interesting in itself, because they accuse the conservative Christians of doing that very thing. They say things like, “Christians shouldn’t judge.” We all have heard this canard and recognize it as a misunderstanding of scripture. We are to judge what God has already judged in His word and we are supposed to live our lives by it. He is the author of the law. Our laws are supposed to agree with His and they are supposed to be used in the process of judging right from wrong and good from evil. Government is ordained to agree with His laws and enforce them for the good of His people. Secularists don’t get this and won’t, unless they become regenerated by God. One of the things that strikes me from Romans 1 is this statement from God. “and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”(Romans 1:32 NASB) Did you get that last part, “Christians?” This part here, “give hearty approval to those who practice them” This is why we can’t give our approval to redefining marriage to accommodate what by definition can’t be called marriage. I am surprised that Christians could give their approval to what is against God’s decree.
The other thing I am surprised by is the lack of understanding, grace, and love towards a world that is dying in sin. We can’t put our noses in the air and only say, “gays are going to hell.” We also can’t just expect them to see our loving example and then repent and put their faith in Christ. So there are two extreme reactions we are having to this. One is the extreme of disdain without mercy, the other extreme is love without truth. Both leave the sinner without the necessary information.
We have to temper our response to sinners sinning. We should not be surprised when people act in keeping with their natures. What should our response look like? It should reasonably and accurately proclaim the truth of the Bible in a loving attitude that is genuinely concerned that the person they are addressing is headed to eternal torment where God will be pouring out His wrath on them for ever. If you are not moved by that thought to proclaim the love of Christ as expressed by His work on the cross, then you need to examine your heart. The regeneration of the sinner by the Holy Spirit does not leave a person the same. Christ’s love is not permissive or tolerant of sin. It is a perfecting love that conforms the regenerate into His likeness.
Is it because I give to the needy? Is it because I am compassionate to the undeserving? Is it because I help the sick at my own peril? Is it because I endure your ridicule? No, it is because of Jesus.
As a Christian who shares the gospel, I have experienced the hate of some. Don’t misunderstand me. There are some who will earnestly listen to the gospel. Out of those most don’t repent and believe, but at least they were genuinely interested in listening to what I had to say. There are others who feign interest. Some just walk away while they shake their heads and mumble. I’m not talking about any of these types. I am talking about the type who get outraged that you would even dare to mention the, “J” word to them! The people who get so angry that you are afraid they might punch you in the face. It is as if you burned their house down or something. These are the types I am talking about.
We all know that the Bible tells us we will be hated and mistreated, but until it happens to you it is difficult to grasp why. You might see yourself doing all kinds of benevolent things and loving on people like no bodies business, so it is a shock to you when someone hates you. Jesus said, “…32Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”…” in John 10:32-33 (NASB) This often sticks in my head. Jesus’ biggest offense was to claim to be God. Some of the Pharisees hated Him for this. It was a good reason to stone Him to death according to them. We can see this same attitude today towards our brothers and sisters in Christ. Think about it for a moment. All of the kind loving things you have done in Christ’s name, poof! Vanish in a moment out of the memory of the hateful person who recoils at the mention of Jesus. It is all fine and dandy as long as you are being benevolent, but mention the reason why you are being loving and merciful and watch out. The next thing you might see could be a rock headed for your noggin. It just doesn’t compute to us right off why someone would respond like that, but we have to look at some truths to understand. If a person is not saved they are a friend of the world. James 4:4 says, “…You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. …” So if you are God’s child how do you suppose the enemy will desire to treat you? In John 15:18-20 Jesus says, “…18“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.…” It makes me wonder if we aren’t too concerned with having easy or being well liked. I mean, nobody likes to get hurt or suffer right, but Jesus was pretty clear about capitulating and being a friend of the world. Cheer up though, if you are sharing the gospel in the face of this suffering Jesus also said this to His disciples, “… 21“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22“You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.
23“But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes. …” If we learn from their example, we can see that all, but John was martyred for their testimony of Christ crucified. They persevered all the way to the end. We can to with God’s grace.