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October 8, 2020 6:00 am
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And that's the power of the great commission is to go outside of your comfort zone. Go to a people that misunderstand each other and I have common dialogue have conversations with people that turns into a witnessing moment.
Pastor Brady Boyd is our guest today on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly talking about how you can impact the culture through the love of Christ, thanks for joining us today. I'm John Fuller, Jon. I wonder how often we as Christians really stop and think about how others around us. View our faith and if our actions and words communicate. I can confess. Sometimes I do that well sometimes I don't usually is around the idea of competing like a fast food line and something's not happening the way it should. I can turn into the ugly American, I really noticed that the traveling globally. Our services here so high when you get overseas, you end up being very frustrated with the lack of service you feel it blundering. You know what, that's not what God calls us to patience and kindness and those things that don't come naturally to us and were not talked about the importance of having a loving heart and demonstrating God's grace to others, which sometimes does not come. I would say all the time does not come naturally to our flesh.
Pastor Brady Boyd is the senior pastor of new life church. It's where Jean and I tend here in Colorado Springs and he's the author of a new book called remarkable Brady welcomed her focus is so good to be with both you guys and this topic is so important right now for us to talk about in this why I wrote the book I think were living in a really really remarkable time where of the American Christian has an opportunity to be tremendous witnesses right now some so excited about this topic with both of you. It's I think it's really critical we get this right… It's funny that you first chapter of the book quote right at the top of the page caught my attention.
It's Alice Cooper the Roxette and you said there is a quote from him drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy, but being a Christian.
That's a tough call. That's rebellion close.
I love to come to faith in Christ.
But man that's amazing what I think even people outside the faith realize how radical it is to follow Jesus and I think actually we have sanitized the Christian faith words, lost its revolutionary radical tendencies and quite actually, I can't honestly be Christianity's always been revolutionary. It's always been countercultural. It's always been a remarkable faith and I think we have sanitized it and we have maybe dumped it down a little bit worried it's lost it. The ability to change lives and when it changes lives. It changes cultures and really one of the reasons I wrote the book is because I believe Christianity is at its best when it is helping those on the margins of our culture when when it's really the minority work in the mop margins of the culture. Christianity is always at its purest and most powerful when it's pushed out to the margins chair and so in many cases, Christianity in America has been pushed out to the margins where we find ourselves now the minority in our country unite, we find ourselves struggling to regain the power of yesteryear right but that's not always a bad thing because in the end that setting when were pushed out to the margins we actually bind the very people that the gospel was intended to reach Brady let's get into your background because you grew up in Louisiana I believe you were pretty rebellious.
You can have that story what was happening through your teen years and prior to coming to Christ in your 20s right now was a man grew up in a home where my mother primarily brought me to church three times a week in a Sunday morning Sunday night Wednesday night and any other night that there was something going on at the church.
My mom made sure that I was on with her. My dad did not become a believer until after I had already gotten out of the home side and grow up with a Christian dad vinaigrette with a devoted mom who prayed me in the kingdom and quite honestly, she was a prayer warrior.
I would wake up many mornings and hear her calling my name out on the couch inside the living room. She prayed loud and she prayed fervently and she prayed every single day for me and I can do that. So really I don't you choice but to follow Christ any mom mom made sure that I but II did everything I could to run away from God and even when I came to Christ. I wanted to bargain with God out. I told him that I would do anything for him but be a pastor because I never I never really seen pastors treated very well. They would always like to when I grew up, but they never hung around the church more than a couple years they lived in a little really crummy house next door to the church. They were always paid really poorly. I thought one of the world would someone grow up with that is there ambition you know is past pastor seemed like punishment to me. So I made a deal with God that I would do anything in the world for him I would charge hell with my hair on fire. You know the water pistol.
If if he would only not let me be a pastor this summer. I celebrate 25 years of the pastor so is just word of caution out there don't make bargains with God because he normally doesn't hold eyes, and I think he really listens to somebody when they pray, you know, just as long as you don't do this says okay zero and I may have to say exactly as it shows the weak spot of the heart right exactly and in end at the end of the day. God knows what's best for us. You know, and he's his plans for us are better than our own plant for us and so I said yes to follow the Lord. I went into pastoral ministry reluctantly but now looking back it's been the best 25 years of my life.
Pam and I count it a privilege to pastor the local church. My diet, I kind of really should be your pastor, I love it when people call me pastor. I think there's is a sense of dignity and since the holiness to that calling now and I can take it very seriously.
It's not easy. It's a hard job to difficult job, but it's one of the most necessary job tonight and I think when you find someone that really cares about the church he really is a shepherd of the flock. If you have that person in your life you to go tell him this week. Make it a point to go tell your pastor thank you because it's harder and harder to find people who really cared deeply for the people in front of them. I think I was praying.
Recently a note and the Lord said something to me that was pretty remarkable. He said Brady are telling people a lot about my love for them, but you need to tell them how much you love them and it was really something that shape my heart is a pastor I'm I'm doing a good job telling people that God loves them but people also need to hear their pastor loves them that their pastor cares about them and so I just I found that to be a word I been sharing that will allow my pastor friends reserving. It's good and because it really does awaken something in someone's heart for someone to sincerely tell them I love you I care about you. People aren't hearing that very often anymore. What we refer to that as a pastor's heart right and by the way, October is pastor appreciation month so it's the perfect time to encourage your pastors to let them know how much they mean to you and we have some great ideas and her website on how to do that yet. We've assembled some downloads videos and other tools online and you can learn more when you click the link in the episode Brady let's get into currents that we do series or call that the world may know with Ray Vander line and he's a historian who knows all about Jewish culture and boy he's a great teacher. When you go to Israel with them and I've been to Corinth with them and it's an amazing sight to see described for those who haven't been able to make that journey and maybe read the letters of Paul Corinthians but what was the scene like an Corinth paint that picture and the one thing for everybody to keep in mind there's nothing new under the sun. People were behaving.
Then like we are now no doubt about a client was a town that had been totally decimated by the Romans.
100 years before Paul arrived limp. So when Paul came back into currents to start the church where we get the letters of first and second Corinthians out of the Bible, the church a bit.
Being that the Taliban rebuilt and a lot of people had found new wealth that was a town like where you could get what rich quick and in the city was just corrupt with sexual deviance, the temple of Aphrodite's. It was a lot of sexuality hell and back. If I went into the graphic details what was happening a car that would make America look like Mayberry, I mean it with dirt.
What was happening with all of our problem. Absolutely it was that much more corrupt and anything that were seeing in our American culture right now and I know it's hard for people to believe but it was a it was a really messy place and not only the day so they had militant retired military sexual brokenness at at at a level that's a hard to imagine and they had a fascination with the athletic they had the Isthmian games there that the, their version of the Olympic Games every two years. They had these about these really are regional global athletic contest Darren Coren so athletics military sexual brokenness. It looks a lot like America. Corinth was American before we they knew of anything of America. So when I begin to study the city in the history of client. I was just fascinated by what Paul said to that place in an and what that that message could mean to us as Americans and Esq. wrote the book remarkable. I think what Paul said to the Corinthians. God needs to be repeated back to the American culture right now and Paul when really the church in Corinth was only about 30 or 40 people, maybe 100 people at its biggest people don't understand that is a small, rural churches. It was a it was a small group.
It was like you could fit the tolls that the whole church report in your living room and this old and they were living in a town of about a million people so think about 30 or 40 people having the daunting task of sharing the good news with a very very corrupt culture that was fascinated with everything but God. They were fascinated with sports. They were fascinated with sex and were fascinated with power. They were fascinated with money. So the message that Paul brought into Coren is a message that should be repeated over and over again to the American culture and that's why wrote the book and the book is called remarkable in the author is Pastor Brady Boyd and he's our guest today on Focus on the Family stop by our website will give us a call and we can get that book to you her number is 800 the letter a in the word family. We get additional details in the episode, notes Brady in remarkable, you mention three responses to the culture that were expressing as a church today. Let's get into that content. What are the three types of responses that you see from Christians well 2000 years ago when Christianity was very much of just a ragtag group of believers they've started with a few hundred people that that really believed in the resurrection story of Christ. So Christianity when it was started was on the margins of the culture that were not important places of power right was only about 2400 years later that Christianity had any sense of political power are part social power, economic power and so for throughout the last 17, 1800 years when a group of Christians have found themselves being persecuted or pushed to the margins they had one of three responses and so this is been going on for 17, 1800 years and it's beginning to happen in America because in America right now. This is the first time and most of our our memory that Christianity is being pushed to the margins that are being now relegated to the outside were now outsiders looking inside, we are losing our places of social power political power in many cases economic power because of real persecution. It's happening in the American culture poured the message of Jesus, so what there three responses that people have have been chosen over the last 1700 years and it's happening now. The first one is to instigate and asked to stand in a yell and scream back at the darkness to to try to change people's minds by fierce arguments, and debating it and protesting an and I do believe that our voice matters in the public square solid people to understand. I'd I believe that politics are important, but the reasonably politics are important is because bulk bylaws affect the poor and the marginalized and unjust laws really affect those who have don't have power so I think politics are super important. I don't think our Messiah is going to come in on Air Force One, but I do think politics are important so the fact that I have never met anyone has come to faith in Christ because someone yelled at them and what an argument with them. I use that often, I'll say nobody you don't hear that testimony in the Christians were so tough on me so brutal toward me. I decided to become one of them.
They just beat you down with their arguments yes to the gentleness of Jesus I mean it just I know that I know what it feels like to have power and then to have it taken away from you in the first year first human response is to protest that into be angry and agitated, but just not the way of Jesus is the way of Christ yet. Let me use an example where I think it plays well at the March for life.
You know, not long ago Jeannie Mancini was the president that does a great job there's yet hundred 50 200,000 people. It's the largest unit of human dignity gathering in the world and they march peacefully.
They have speakers. It's actually quite a great demonstration of the cause for life as an example. Note no doubt thought so for I am not.
I agree with that and those kind of movements are important. We should use our collective good to bring good into the culture.
So when you gather like that and but it's about the tone it's about attitude is about the spirit of that gathering career and what makes the March for life such an important and valuable piece of our culture, as he did march with angry vitriol unions you are shouting and screaming. You are there because you you care deeply about the unborn and about those who have been hurt so is that instigator instigated the second one is to integrate and that is to get this to go along to get along and quite honestly about 80% of the American Christians right now are simply you can't tell them apart from the culture they have. They have learned how to just go along to get along to to really their lives, their marriage the way they handle their money the way they are speaking is no different than the culture all around him and our lives shouldst look differently. Our lives should be remarkable. Our lives should be worthy of conversation is so of the way I choose to live my life is not the way the culture tells me to live my life is the way Jesus tells me to live my life with us, put me at odds many times what the culture tells me but I'm okay with that chosen a different path of chosen a different way.
We're living in an age of compromise.
Quite honestly, I'm very concerned about the people in my own church and the people in the culture where we were. We just have given up looking differently. We have just kinda got swept into a current, and were being forced down a path that not good for our soul does not distinguish us as Christ followers and there is no difference in our lives and the lives of people who don't know Christ sleeve covered instigator and integrator with the other what the other one is just to isolate ourselves to create these holy communities that are separate from the world.
The problem with that is that Jesus not only called us the salty call is the light of the world and he said on a city on a hill cannot be hidden and a lot of people are hiding themselves. I believe both of my kids went to public schools. Pam and I are involved in the community over where I the church is not been called to create holy huddles. The church is always been called to go the great commission says go into all the world and make disciples. You cannot just create the safe little sanitize communities where your families huddled together in living rooms with with a total of no awareness of what's going on in the culture all around you, and I think the churches got to regain its primary mission of primary call and that is the great Commandment and the great commission to the great commandment says love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and love your neighbor as yourself. But until you fall in love the neighbor across the street you'll never fulfill the great commission, which is to go in all the world so we know it we read it we see it and we don't want to be the instigator integrator or the isolator, and so how do we do that, I mean how do we do exactly what you're saying to do the great commission to do the great commandment.
I've taught my church and you've you've heard me preach this that because you attend taught people. The great commandment first, which is love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind that at some point Christ has to be enough. Christ has to be central and enough and then to love your neighbor as yourself is probably the hardest thing right now in the American culture because in it we become so tribal right now and American culture we have.
We have separated ourselves into tribes and the good news about being in a tribe or in a family, as it does feel like you're protected there's a sense of safety and community when you're with a like-minded group of people. The problem with tribalism is that it requires enemies that we have to defend ourselves from a common enemy.
There somebody out there wanting to hurt us or harm us, and so tribalism is now taking root in our politics and our churches, almost in a culture and the culture we have. We are choosing sides and there's no room for compromise or debate. There's no room for us to integrate with other tribes and so we live in neighborhoods and if everyone was honest were probably living in a neighborhood where most people vote like us were probably living in a neighborhood with people who have the same socioeconomic capabilities as a word we have we have an in the American culture. We have isolated ourselves and echo chambers with people who are thinking like us acting like us talking like us and that is a problem for the great commission because were supposed actually leave what we know to be safe and go into a world that seems uncertain and risky, and that's the power of the great commission is to go outside of your comfort zone. Go to a people that misunderstand each other and to have common dialogue to have conversations with people that turns into a witnessing moment.
Yeah, as I mentioned earlier, Ray Vanderlinden, that the world may know his core theme when he says the whole New Testament is getting at is bringing God shalom God's peace to a world filled with chaos because of sin, and that's what you're describing. And we have the cure. We have discovered the cure for all of mankind's ills. It is the grace and goodness of Christ, and we have to share. That is like having the antidote for snakebite in your neighbor gets bitten by a snake but you don't want to share your extra vial of antidote for me to have help evil his dad and II think at some point the American church and I and I see this lesson. I'm actually very encouraged by what I'm seeing in some pockets of the American Christian number that I see a lot of church awakening right now to the great commission is very exciting.
How do we take what you're talking about and that is to take take the love of Christ with compassion and kindness. How do we take that to the group a tribe. For instance, this came up in a conversation yesterday I had with somebody you we take that love and this this group of people says you're not affirming me.
Therefore, you're my enemy. So give me some scripting give me some language. How do I actually show the love of Christ if they're just shutting me down because I'm not agreeing with them while I think it's the youth a valid point and is not easy for easy, we'd all be doing it right.
I mean, so if the difficulty of sharing good news is that most people in our culture don't know their centers and so the gospel is really only good news for people who realize their centers yet, but if you lead with your center. That doesn't exactly open the door, exactly. So this is why we have to depend on the work of the Holy Spirit. And this is why prayer and the work of the Spirit is the only thing that opens anyone's hearts to the good news of the gospel. So I believe that the only way to reach your neighbor is to first pray for them and to really spend some time praying over your neighbor and inviting the work of the Spirit in your neighbor's life and know that it might be a long time coming. That that a lot of people want instant gratification with their evangelism. But for me, I was grateful that my mom and him and my pastors in my life didn't give up on me for years and years and years and he really was probably about a 10 year journey for them to speak to me to be kind to me to listen to my rants and listen to my anger and but not give up on the and I want to encourage people listening. Don't give up on your neighbor in the same way that Jesus didn't give up on any of us.
He's not giving up on your neighbors well for family members, exactly, and we were all looking for instant gratification were into microwaving when God's in the marinating right and so think think of evangelism not as an instantaneous miracle that does happen from time to time but think of it as more of a saturation of the good news.
Over the course of maybe a decade of you just being kind.
When this gets to the to the core point you're raising John, you mentioned in your book remarkable. The three components of a gracious Christian life that we should be practicing and you say it's acceptance, kindness and forgiveness so briefly unpacked those three what we mean by acceptance and what kind are not accepting their behavior as as a part of my can a note I'm not giving up my convictions and I find them where they are and I recognize this is who they are right now. Not accepting the fact that there there a long way from Jesus and that's what I mean by acceptance. I'm not saying that is where they're going to remain.
But just recognize it center sin. I mean broken people are broken as the people are messy and when you find them, don't be surprised that there acting the way they're acting say okay this is who they are. This is where they are right on their lives. I accept the fact that there a long way from God, but I have hope that they're going to find Christ along the way. So that's what I mean by acceptance and I think sometimes when we meet people who are a long way from Christ first bowed probably don't spend a lot of time around people who are long way from Christ is so will we get around them. We are stunned and we are who we kind of freak out a bit when we see their adverse behavior there there bad behavior.
It should not surprise us that people who are long way from God act godless and just take a deep breath, build a relationship. Don't judge that.
That's God's business by businesses. The love them well and to be kind to them, and the Holy Spirit is better at winning people to Christ and we are and but we have to be the that the incubators of the Holy Spirit, a reflection of the Holy Spirit are, they'll never have an encounter with the Holy Spirit and in that journey. You know that's where the sanctification process starts.
I wouldn't start with. This is what you need to be see in your at a go to be what is Buick like right so be it. Have patients as you're working with people and and showing them the love of Christ and the truth of Christ.
Over time, let's move to kindness. What were you there is the three got acceptance, kindness, forgiveness of kindness is pretty self-explanatory. Well kindness, but let me say that kindness means were are as all of our words and I believe that the language we use on social media and the language we use in conversation is the catalyst for salvation in many people's lives. Kindness begins with words that are sincere words that are that are not flattery but kindness. The kite was the kindness of the Lord that brought us all to repentance.
The Bible read Romans two for a yes ticket was the kindness of God, we discovered that God was good and that was when everyone of us listening, who are followers of Christ, we began to follow Christ because we discovered that God was good that he was kind, and I think that that most people are looking for a witness of that kindness in their lives, and it starts with just having a kind conversation.
So instead of returning anger for anger online, especially in this political season wherein I will return kindness for their anger try something different.
Try let's try something different this time that it's a good and then of course forgiveness that third one, and you've illustrated that with the story about the Charleston church shooting that happened a few years ago. In fact, we had a couple of the radio guests that one who participated in her life was spared in the other he lost his wife and she was the leader of the Bible study. In fact, we have a clip from that program. I like to play it and have you comment on that I had hatred for Devon -sized room. This is a 21 yo young man. Life is life is over that safety equipment and asked for forgiveness. God was given. That's his command. You have to forgivehim to forgive you for the things you do you have to forgive other people, so that was probably Shepherd. Her life was spared, but her friends were murdered that day, and here she is talking about forgiveness as a powerful example my goodness that is very powerful and I I think it is actually what encapsulates the power of our of the gospel is that to whom much is forgiven, much is required in him and I believe that forgiveness separates the Christian faith from any other force on the planet because normally what happens is you do you give vengeance for vengeance.
Anger for anger, violence for violence. But the Christian faith is countercultural because when we receive violence when we receive anger. When persecution comes our way.
Instead of returning the thing that was been given as we return it with goodness and kindness and forgiveness is actually one the most powerful forces that change the Roman Empire as they saw how Christians would respond to their persecution.
They expected Christians to take up arms and fight back instead of Christians choosing to forgive them and be kind to them and it change the Emperor's heart started changing the Roman culture because they could not persecute the Christians too much. Every time they would push against the Christians.
What would come back to them with this forgiveness and they were just stunned by that.
The most powerful tool we have in our arsenal is the power of forgiveness and II love that story have heard that story. What a powerful broadcast it was when I appreciate that Brady and now right at the end. Thank you so much for reminding us that love and kindness and grace comes right from the heart of God in those the tools that we should be fighting with what a great book remarkable living a faith worth talking about and make a gift to Focus on the Family for any amount and will send you a copy of the pastor Brady's wonderful book remarkable as our way of saying thank you and know that those proceeds go to help strengthen marriages help parents help save the baby's life, literally.
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Our number is 800 232-645-9800 the letter a in the word family we got additional details in the episode, notes Brady. Thanks again for being with us. Can we hang on for a few minutes in and do a couple of web extra and if you want to join that conversation. Talk a little bit more about Karen and the sexuality issue parallels in today's culture that absolutely thanks for having me on and begin our website focusonthefamily.com/broadcast on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family website for that additional content and be sure to join us next time. As we once again, you and your family thrive