Wake Up, Sleepyhead

I really get a lot from Tom Browning.

I am finishing his series on Romans that I mentioned two weeks ago, and I don’t think that a sermon series has ever made me cry so much. To hear this Texan get choked up again and again over the fact that Jesus died for him, to hear the true gratitude in his voice for his salvation… it is really humbling.

I just finished listening to the one on Romans 13:11-14 and wanted to share it with you guys.

It is Paul’s wake up call to us.

Time for us to wake up.


Author: Ginger Taylor

I am a thirty something wife of a wonderful man and mother to two beautiful boys. I am a Johns Hopkins educated family therapist with a current case load of one, my autistic son Chandler. I want to God and what He really has to say to us and especially what He really wants from me. I approach Scripture from the Reformed perspective of Luther and Calvin and those that followed them, and encourage lively debate here at Daily Discernment.

6 thoughts on “Wake Up, Sleepyhead”

  1. Hello, I made it to your site and am looking forward to livey discussions. I caught up on the posts, and your very first one has intrigued me. Our home group read the Bait of Satan, and I found it very helpful and insightful. Although I hardly ever read a book that I agree with 100%, Do you think that because of what was going on in your life at the time made it harder to digest a book like that? (not accusing just wondering) I couldn’t find in this book where he says that all shall be forgiven and escape hell. He states that we should forgive people 7 times a day if they ask. I am interested in your critique of the book. Can forgiveness happen without repentance? I believe so, but can restoration happen without repentance? That is another story!

    The one on Rick Warren is so disappointing. I try to use the ugly stuff in life to teach the children life lessons, not to gossip about someone, and I cerainly don’t need to give out all the details but even the Bible shows us how and why the men and women and cities of old fell.

    I never lie in love, but I vacilate between speaking the truth in anger and love.

  2. Hi Catrina!!

    Thanks for visiting.

    The line in the book is in the first few pages and says basically that ‘God forgives everyone, so we must too’. I don’t have the book here, so I am not sure where it is, but I will move that up the list of things to write on.

    Christians can choose to with hold forgiveness from other unrepentant Christians while taking them through the process of church discipline. This book unhinges forgiveness from repentance and church discipline, and therefor leaves the church open to become a place of abuse where when confronted on sin, rather than truly repenting, people can just say, “well no one is perfect, will you forgive me”, and continue the mistreatment.

    And most people don’t know that you can with hold forgiveness from another Christian until he repents of his sin (1 Cor 5). Wolves can get into the flock, mistreat people, say, “will you forgive me” with out ever having any intention of admitting to their sin or stopping it, and earnest Christians will just let everything go because they have been taught that they have to forgive no matter what.

    There is an important difference in what he is saying and what the bible is teaching. You wrote that he says, “He states that we should forgive people 7 times a day if they ask.” Scripture says “And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I REPENT,’ forgive him”. Repentance involves turning from, confessing and cleaning up after sin. Asking for forgiveness does not.

    I was definitely more sensitive to bad messages on forgiveness because of the abuse of power that we had just experienced, but my ‘having a hard time with it’ is not what is important. If I have a hard time with something that is biblical, then that is my problem and I have to work on it.

    What is important is whether or not it actually teaches the biblical model of forgiveness.

    It doesn’t.

    There are things in it that I am sure are helpful to those who are having trouble forgiving when they truly should be forgiving those who have wronged them, either non-Christians or repentant Christians, but there is so much else that is wrong, I can’t recommend it to anyone.

    I could only find one chapter that didn’t have problems in it.

    Among the book’s other problems, it also calls Jesus a sinner. It claims that if you are offended by something, then you are in sin. Jesus was so offended at the money changers turning the temple in to a place of profit that he fashioned a whip and trashed the place. Twice.

    By his reasoning, Jesus was in sin, because he was offended there, and with the Pharasee’s in Matthew 23.

    I wrote an Amazon review of it that touches on that idea as well.

    “but even the Bible shows us how and why the men and women and cities of old fell.” Great point. And Paul publicly called out Peter’s sin of refusing to dine with uncircumcised Christians.

  3. This will be a fun place to visit, I so enjoy mucking through stuff like this with other believers, I actually think it is critical if the church is ever going to reach the world and not look like a bunch of hypocites. I can see where you are coming from and I agree, I guess that I have the tendency to just see what applys to me at the time. I do remember once or twice we had some lively discussions so everyone was obviously not on board with everything. What about the be angry yet sin not verse?, that is always a weird one to me because can you be angry only until sunset? lol. This past year our church had a member that did and wanted to do terrible things to his wife, Nate was in the group that was confronting and trying to deal with the situation, he was basically unrepentant so he was asked to leave the church, his wife divorced him and continued to come to our church. People were offended who didn’t know the whole truth as to why we would allow her to continue to come and support her (she had sin in this also) while he was excommunicated. The difference was that she repented and came under the authority of the women that were appointed her. (I was one of them) Her husband spread lies about us and the pastor and never repented but we forgave him for offending us on a personal level, the church however couldn’t let him continue to come so it could be taken that we didn’t forgive him.

    This will be good for me because I tend to just take the good from things and not question to much other stuff. Our church is non-denom but we have in home groups taken on a wide variety books that in some groups would not be considered prudent. We read Rob Bell (semi emergent) “Velvet Elvis” and I loved the book even though there were things that he said that in no way represent the God I know. He asked “would it be a big deal if we found out that Jesus had a biological father named Joe?” Stuff like that and whether or not God created the earth in 6 days is a huge deal to my faith, however I saw wisdom in what he was trying to do so I approved of it even though I probably wouldn’t give it to someone that I thought was to “spiritually young” to not get confused. From the other side of the spectrum we had Martha Peace writer of “The Excellent Wife” and die hard calvinist come speak at our ladies retreat. She said that God does not speak to us ever except through the written word and that we should never say “the lord told me”, although I agree with her on some level I disagreed also, but I was able to take away a lot from the weekend.

    I linked you on my sidebar,so maybe some of my friends will visit as well. I must warn you though they are very diverse, in a good way.

  4. So glad you feel like sticking around!

    As with your friend and her husband, we are all sinners, but only the repentant ones belong in the church.

    As crappy as that whole thing with your church sounds, that is the way it is supposed to work. And if he had been excommunicated, then you guys did need to have forgiveness for him in your heart, even if you held his sin against him as far as fellowship went.

    We have to hold forgiveness in our heart and be ready to offer it at a moments notice should the door bell ring and we open to find even our most vicious enemies in true repentance.

    Micah 6:8 is also reflective of what needs to happen there. God says to “Do justice” and “love mercy”. So first we have to do justice, but while doing justice, we lug around a big ol’ bucket of mercy that we are to have a the ready so that when we see true repentance, we can just pour it on ‘um.

    John MacArthur had a good sermon on how to treat someone in that position, basically about always longing for him to repent and return and using any encounter with him to extend the offer of grace again and again. I will try to find it.

    And with Rob Bell… I liked some of his stuff when I first started hearing it, but then I heard a few things that didn’t sit right with me. With him I was not having a problem with what I have heard him say, but it is more what he is not saying. Talking on subject and leaving out some very vital scripture. I have not heard much by him, but I will go back and listen with a closer ear.

    “He asked “would it be a big deal if we found out that Jesus had a biological father named Joe?” ”

    It would be a huge freaking deal because it would mean that there was no virgin birth, scripture is not inerrant and we cannot trust anything that it says, even that Christ died for us or even that He lived in the first place.

    Heresy is truth out of balance. Presenting the true gospel with just a few changes, or omissions, and it no longer becomes the true gospel.

    I think a good thing for us to keep in mind as we look at the messages out there is not just to listen for what is wrong, but also what is missing.

    I am really, really cautious about the whole, “the Lord told me”. I have had a few things that I would say that about, but they were pretty much exclusively scripture that He brought to mind.

    Twice though I had experiences of God connecting dots of a specific situation for me, and when I checked into it deeper, it turned out to be true, but that is really God working through my own capacity for logic. It was not, “God told me to divorce my husband move to Hollywood and become a big star for His glory” nonsense.

    If it does not line up with the Bible, then the Lord didn’t tell you to do it.

  5. I totally agree about Rob Bell and the whole emergent movement, that is why I couldn’t recommend it to someone I wasn’t sure had a strong basis of faith. I am a very black and white type of person and I am tryng to be more gracious with other believers who don’t always see eye to eye with me, so that I have the opportunity for relationship with them instead of alienating them. But I definitely need to pay closer attention to what is missing. It is hard for someone with my personality because I rarely get offended and I often don’t critically think about the ramifications to others (selfish I guess) I don’t know if you ever heard of Growing Kids Gods Way by the Ezzos. They wrote a parenting book that I read when my kids were babies They said things like “get your babies on a 3hr feeding schedule right after your milk comes in, put your babies in the crib to sleep, and let them cry it out. Well I really enjoyed the books and put SOME of it into practice. I thought that most people were getting the jist of what they were trying to say and wouldn’t be rigid about it. Apparently people took them so literally that a baby didn’t thrive and was taken away, people were letting their newborns cry for hours and watching their watches and making screaming babies wait “5 more minutes to eat”. Stupid! I assume people have more common sense, I assume to much I think.

    I am leary of public “the lord told me or told us to do something”, but privately a few times God has spoken to me. One time which was the most dramatic time, I felt that God told me to be praying for someone that is not really in my circle. 40 mins later I got a call saying she just had a brain anuyerism(sp) and was in serious trouble. Once I felt incredibly led to go a way I don’t normally go and I saw someone I knew that needed help, but I would never come to you and say “hey God told me Chandler is going to be healed”, things like that have been so damaging to people and frankly it kinda makes me sick to hear so many known Christian leaders telling us that God told them who is going to be president, what disasters await us and how much money we need to send in.

    Anyway it was good to have a deep discussion even though it is online,maybe someday it will be in person. By the way my 3 yr old nephew has asbergers(sp) or is a very high functioning austistic kiddo. He has been professionally evaluated yet except by the Peditrician, he goes to Atlanta in a month I think. I do know that he was born this way though because he has grown up here around us and I had noticed peculiar behavior even as a small infant. Anyway to much about that to discuss here, maybe I’ll pick your brain another time.

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