Voices In My Head Podcast Episode #132 – Renovating Holiness with Joshua Broward

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This week’s guest, Joshua Broward is the co-editor (with Thomas J. Oord) and compiler of a new book called Renovating Holiness which releases January 17th and can be pre-ordered at

www.Renovatingholiness.com

Younger leaders around the world are approaching holiness with new eyes, new vision, and a burning passion to help the Church engage the mission of our holy God.  Renovating Holiness brings together the stories of 100 plus leaders from more than 30 nations to point towards the continuing movement of God’s Spirit in a new world, offering their thoughts on how the Church of the Nazarene can rethink it’s history, it’s doctrine, and it’s practices to be more effective in the 21st century. Rick Lee James is one of the contributors to this book and proudly welcomes Joshua to his Podcast for a discussion on holiness renovated.

Listen Now:

 

imageFYI: We’re running some crazy cheap sales on my Books, DVDs, and CDs.

Hardcovers – $14.95 Out of the Depths: A Songwriter’s Journey through the Psalms
Paperbacks – $10.99
DVD’s – $5.99 Basement Psalms Live by Rick Lee James
CD’s $3.99

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Basement+Psalms+Live

Three New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep In 2015 To Support Indie Musicians

 

Three Resolutions You Can Keep
a.) I Will Buy The Music I Listen To
b.) I Will Share Links To The Music I Like With My Friends (especially when I get it for free)
c.)I Will Support Indie Music

Click Here To Join

 

 

Jesus, Lord or Lackey?

Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

—–Jesus, Lord or Lackey—–

Any Religion that needs to be affirmed or endorsed by a particular worldly empire or nation in order to thrive is likely a weak religion, with an impotent God, using the government as a crutch. The Kingdom of God is it’s own nationality with its own King, Jesus. It’s citizens need no government endorsement or mandate in order to thrive and be faithful. The need some Christians have to get the 10 Commandments placed on government property, to pledge allegiance to an earthly nation in a house of worship, or to mandate that prayer be led in public schools may actually stem from not believing that Jesus truly is Lord. Mandates like these render the incarnation as a fable and Jesus as a puppet ruler who needs a greater power to help Him achieve His goals. If Jesus truly is Lord then He needs no such permissions or endorsements from the world’s rulers to reign. He is either Lord or He isn’t. He is either Lord of all, right now, or He is not and never will be Lord. Mostly I think we tend to live like He isn’t because so often it seems we would rather force unbelievers to follow the rules than allow the living Jesus to transform human hearts and write new laws upon them. Those who don’t know how to love will mandate that it be given. Those who know how to love simply give it away and let it do its work. It’s like Paul is saying in the Galatians passage above, “welcome to the family” instead of “here’s a list of rules”. Those who don’t believe Jesus can change hearts will mandate that hearts be changed. Those who do believe in the lordship of Jesus will simply follow Him and let love do it’s work. Jesus is either lackey or Lord, but He is not both.

“Hark the Herald Angels Sing, glory to the newborn King.” –Charles Wesley

Podcast Episode #130 – Advent Week 3

Advent Week 3

This week on the Voices In My Head Podcast we dive into the scripture readings for Advent Week Three 2014. Hear the word of the Lord.

Podcast # 67: Brennan Manning tribute with Author Matt Litton

 

Matt and Brennan

Listen Here:

This week one of my favorite authors, Matt Litton, joins me in a tribute to one of my other favorite author’s, Brennan Manning. Richard Francis Xavier Manning, better known to legions of faithful readers as author, speaker, and contemplative Brennan Manning, for whom grace was irresistible, completed his earthly journey on Friday, April 12 at 12:10AM. He is now resting safely in the arms of his Abba.

Matt Litton is a writer, educator, and speaker. He completed his undergraduate work in English and Religious Studiesand holds a Master of Arts in Education from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee. He has written about faith and culture for numerous national publications including Christianity Today, The Dallas Morning News, The Huffington Post, CNN.com Religion Blog, Relevant.comand is author of The Mockingbird Parables: Transforming Lives Through the Power of Story and Holy Nomad: The Rugged Road to Joy (Sept 12 Release).

Voices In My Head is a Podcast dedicated to covering things like comics, movies, books, music and various other things that get stuck in the head of pop culture, but with a Theological lens. Listen to it on Podbean.com, Stitcher, The Rick Lee James Mobile App, iTunes, Reverbnation.com, and Facebook. Rick Lee James Official Web Site is www.RickLeeJames.com. To leave a voice message comment for Voices In My Head call (937) 505-0162. Get Rick’s music on iTunes and at CDBaby.com. Email can be sent to RLJames29@yahoo.com. You can also watch Rick Lee James music videos on YouTube.

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News Flash: There Are Differences Between Mormonism and Christianity

There has been so much confusion this election season about people’s beliefs.  Let me first say that I am not endorsing either candidate, and refuse to ever join religion with politics.  I think Constantine might be the worst thing to happen to Christianity until the Left Behind books and I always want to strive to keep the voice of the church as one “to” the nation, not “of” the nation.

That being said, there is a lot of confusion about beliefs this election season, partially because one of the main candidates is a Mormon.  Even though the religious right is desperately trying to convince us that Mormonism and Christianity are the same thing, they aren’t. It takes more than being anti-abortion to be within the bounds of Christian Orthodoxy.  I’m sorry if this bursts any bubbles.

I don’t want anyone to rob the world religions of what makes them distinct.  I love the world religions and I think they have their place but it is wrong to lump them all together just as it would be incorrect to call a dog a human or a horse and automobile. I don’t want to insult any other religion just because I am a Christian, it’s their distinct beliefs that make them who they are.  I simply want to be about truth telling and in telling the truth we should be able to point out that there are things about the world’s religions that make them different, even beautifully different at times.  Mormonism is distinctly different from Christianity as Islam, Jehovah’s Witness, Judaism, Hinduism, and all the other world religions.

If you think I’m lying about this, below is a short list of beliefs Mormons hold that Christians don’t. If you don’t believe me, look it up in the book of Mormon, they will send you a free copy. They are really friendly and want to help you know more about their religion:

  • God came from another planet
  • God lives on a star called Kolob
  • God is a man with a body of flesh and bones
  • There is a mother goddess
  • God and his goddess wife are married
  • Human can become gods if they become Mormons
  • There are many gods and we will all be gods one day.
  • The Trinity are three separate gods distinct from each other.
  • Jesus is the brother of Lucifer.

Needless to say, no Protestant or Catholic churches hold these not so ancient beliefs. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (usually called the “Mormon” Church) was organized on April 6, 1830. To be fair, their members argue that theirs is a restoration of the original Christian Church and therefore, was never invented but simply continues from ancient times. Also to be fair, all other Christian denominations reject that belief.

Don’t let this sway you in how you vote this year.  I’m sure Romney is as good as any other mud-slinger out there, and probably no worse. I simply wanted to do my part to put an end to the rumor that all world religions are basically the same thing.  Don’t rob religions of things that make them unique and distinct for something as ordinary as politics.

An Invitation, Not A Kidnapping

In an election season, each side seems to shout their agenda at the other, and no one shouts louder than the religious right.  Most of the time I feel like they are the religious wrong, yet they assume that since I’m a Christian that I’m on their side.  I don’t mean just me, they assume all who profess Christianity are on board with their fear tactics and their rallying cry to “take America Back”, whatever that means.  Perhaps they want to take it back to England. If they really wanted the way of Jesus, they might want to “take America back to the Native Americans.  It’s too bad the Native Americans didn’t have a border patrol and tough immigration laws to keep them “safe” from illegal aliens.  I wonder how often they have longed to take America back as they live in the squalor that we forced them into. Make no mistake about it, we didn’t start as a Christian nation.  We started as a group of illegal aliens who came in and committed mass genocide on the people who were here before us.  

Trying to force Christianity on non-believers is kind of like forcing a feast on a person who isn’t hungry. When Christians insist that non-believers must eat their feast, shouting at them them all the reasons that their feast is the best thing for them, and that they need to get rid of the food at their own table, it doesn’t make the non-believer any more hungry for the things of Christ. If Christians were to throw a burlap sack over the non-believers head, bind his hands and feet, and then force him to sit at the feast table, it should be no surprise that the non-believer will have no appetite for the food being forced upon him.
I’m convinced that the, “take America back for Jesus” attitude is not only dangerous, it’s Un-Christian. The United States are not the Kingdom of God, they never have been and never will be. I agree with Pastor Brian Zahnd that Christianity may need to die out in this country so that it can be born again and grow up in a healthy manner. Christians do believe in resurrection after all and sometimes things need to die so that they can be reborn.

We receive an invitation from Christ to a generous feast. We don’t take it by force or force it upon anyone. Grace and mercy are free gifts offered to all. To be “called” by God is to be invited. (Look it up in the Greek, that’s how it translates in the New Testament).  The call (invitation) from God is a call to become “saints” in His Kingdom. The kingdom of God stops being the kingdom of God when it is forced upon others. Force-feeding your guests is not in the spirit of a proper invitation.

“Saints” are not moral exemplars who climbed the highest mountain and swam the deepest seas. They are the ones who heard the call (the invitation) and showed up for the feast.  “Saints” are simply the ones who have accepted the invitation to the feast. Also, “saints” serve the feast to others at the pleasure of their King. It’s never the King’s pleasure to gag His guests.

So if you’re a Christian, simply live a life that makes people hungry and thirsty for the good things of God. Love each other. Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. Forgive and forgive again. Keep setting the table even if it ends up being empty. Share the feast. If you’re a Democrat, reach out to and love Republicans. If you’re a Republican, reach out and love Democrats. Stop trying to force feed each other because that only makes a person gag. Invite, share, and partake together. Love without end.

And for heaven’s sake, let’s have some faith that Christ reigns…currently even…right now!!!  That won’t change, even if Hitler gets elected president. I caution you though, if you are a believer, you should probably stop embracing partisan politics and start embracing the politics of the Kingdom of God. If you don’t know what God’s politics are, you can find them in Matthew 5-7. I invite you to read it.

They will know we are Chickens by our love. (Or Rick Lee James on this whole Chick-Fil-A Mess)

Christians, let’s show that we are not the haters that we are being painted as. If you are a Christian who hates anyone then you aren’t a Christian. Let your life be the testimony of the God who has shown you infinite patience and mercy. Let’s actually talk to each other, even if we disagree about gay marriage and chicken. This issue will not be solved be eating or not eating Chick-Fil-A. They will know we are Christians by our love, it says in our holy book. Lashing out only shows insecurity on both sides of this issue. If there was ever evidence that the world needs to be renewed, it has clearly been seen this week. Jesus is too big to be threatened by Chick-fil-a, gay people, Christians, Mitt Romney, President Obama, Marriage enrichment groups, or an imbalanced murderer with a gun in a movie theatre. Guess what, we all need a savior. Failure to acknowledge our sin is the greatest sin of all. I’m not sure which headline I find more nauseating this week but I only have one response to any of it. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. We are proving You right Lord. All have fallen short of the Glory of God.