Don’t change it. Pass it on.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2020
Don’t change it. Pass it on. Let’s talk on Key Life.
Key Life is a radio program for struggling believers, sick of phony religion and pious cliches. Our host and teacher is seminary professor Steve Brown. He teaches that radical freedom leads to infectious joy and surprising and faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at the second chapter of the book of Galatians in our study in Galatians. We’re looking at the question and we’re going to spend a long time on this. What exactly is the gospel? We sing about it. We talk about it and we use that word a lot, but what exactly is the gospel? Paul said at the opening of Galatians. That if anybody preaches a gospel to you, other than the one I have preached to you, may they be accursed. Now that’s pretty strong language, but the question that immediately comes to mind, man I don’t want to mess with that? So what is the gospel? So I don’t, get off the road or go in the wrong direction or say things I shouldn’t say. What is the gospel? And we’re looking type question, and we’re doing that in some detail. Now we’ve seen how Paul came up against the Judaizers in the churches in Galatia. And we saw the issues and you can go back in the archives and find out some of the details of that. But now he’s starting off by saying some general things about the gospel that are really important. And once we go through these and see them, then we will spend some time detailing what the gospel actually is, now we have seen that the gospel is first universal. It sings different songs than you sing. It is conveyed in ways that you wouldn’t convey it. It is done in places that you wouldn’t even go. The family of God is universal. It’s around the world and it’s not wrong, it’s different. And Paul said, the gospel is not something you can pin up in your own cultural conclusions. And then he says also that the gospel is something that you can’t be creative with, it’s revealed. I mean, it’s simple, but it’s revealed and you can’t play games with it. Anybody here want to be forgiven, ask me, I’ll tell you how. Anybody here want to have meaning in their life that they don’t have right now. Just ask me and I’ll tell you why. And I won’t spin it. I won’t change it. I’ll tell you about Jesus and the cross and salvation by faith in Christ alone. Now let me show you something else. Paul not only says that the gospel is universal. Not only is the gospel something you can’t mess with. You can’t spin, it’s something you receive and you can’t change. You can’t be creative with it. He says that the gospel was important because it must be continued to the next generation. Galatians 2:5
To them we did not yield submission even for a moment, that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.
I am very conservative theologically and Biblically. I believe every word of the Bible. I believe it is God’s word written. I believe it needs to be defended. I believe in some particular doctrines that reformed people believe in, I’m a five point Calvinist. I believe that God is really sovereign. I believe that we’re really free. I believe that there’s time language used to describe a non time reality, in the New Testament. And that’s why Jesus said to the thief today you’ll be with me in paradise. And Paul said at the last trumpet, the dead in Christ walk. I’ve got so much to say about those issues and a thousand other issues. And all of that is a part of Biblical truth. And frankly, if I knew that Jesus was coming back on Thursday of next week, I wouldn’t spend three seconds on any of that. I really wouldn’t. I wouldn’t care. I wouldn’t care what you felt politically or what you felt Biblically or what you felt philosophically or what you felt theologically. I just wouldn’t care. But the problem is, Jesus may tarry a little bit longer. And it’s important that this be passed on to another generation and to a lot of generations, if Jesus tarries. Now Jesus may come back next Thursday. But he said that nobody knows the time. So since I don’t, and by the way nobody else, I don’t know. People who say they do, don’t know either. Martin Luther thought it was going to happen before he died. And so did Chrysostom. And so does Augustine and so did Aquinas. And so did Paul, in fact God designed it in a way that no man and no woman could be sure of that time and still it until it happened. So, if I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was gonna return on Thursday, I wouldn’t give a rip about all that other stuff, but I do care because we have to keep this thing together, that the gospel may be proclaimed to our children, to our grandchildren. to our great grandchildren. And to everybody who needs to hear the truth of what God has done. And so, the apostle Paul, kept it right, so it would be preserved. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown teaching us from Galatians 2 and answering the question, what is the gospel? This week we’ve learned that the gospel is universal, that it is revealed. And today that it must be passed along to future generations. Well recently on our other radio show, Steven Brown Etc. We spoke with Chuck DeGroat about the insidious danger of narcissism in the church. We discussed how to spot it. And just as important explored how healing happens, take a listen to the short clip and then I’ll be back to tell you about a free offer.
This is kind of an inward narcissism, until fairly recently. You didn’t hear it all the time, but you hear it all the time now. And it’s a lot different than most of us think. Talk to us about narcissism.
Well, one of the things I say at the outset is we have a caricature. We have someone that we think about, it’s usually a politician, or an athlete, you know some prominent profile, someone that likes to stage. And one of the things that I hope to do in the book is complicate it a little bit, to say that narcissism is not a one size fits all kind of thing. We think about like the typical grandiosity, attention seeking, that need for power, lack of empathy, things like that. But what I try to tease out in this is that, it comes in and we maybe we’ll get to this at some point, it comes in nine different faces or nine different packages, you know? And so it may not just be that attention seeking, mega church pastor, they get all, you know, they’re they’re, I know? I’m sorry Zach.
Zach Van Dyke:
Come on man, we’re two minutes into the interview and you already threw me under the bus.
Zach, this is not about you. There’s a target of the megachurch pastor, but as I’ve seen it in a variety of different contexts.
It could be the small church pastor in rural Iowa, you know, with a congregation of 60 people. And so narcissism is more complicated than we would like to think.
It seems to me like it puts people in a position where 20 years, 15 years, or whatever down the road, they’ve almost become in some ways different people than what they were when they started. Because, are they starting to believe their own PR. Is there something in me that gravitates toward what’s becoming this view of like, we’re the ones. And so you do what we say.
Zach Van Dyke:
It grows, right?
Yeah. I think back, the first part of what you’re talking about, I mean, I think back to Steve was around for this when I was ordained back in the day. They did about ten minutes on character and about six hours on doctrine for me. So, and that’s, I mean, that’s unfortunate, you see that in different places and contexts and denominations, you know, where we really don’t pay as much attention to those kinds of things, but then, you know, you put your put person in front of a congregation, there’s a psychological dynamic called the mirror hungry leader. Where the leader needs a mirror. The mirror is the congregation, approve of me, encourage me, say nice things about me and then the ideal hungry follower and the ideal hungry follower is the person who says, I don’t want to know the skeletons in your closet. I just want to know. I just want to know that you’re great, that you walk on air, you know? And that dynamic over time, I think you’re right on Cathy. I’ve seen that over five, 10, 15, 20 years where someone who, I mean, I know someone personally who, who is fairly humble and doing their work early on, but over the course of years, kind of became grandiose and started to believe his own press, and got lost. That’s what I like to say. I don’t think, I don’t think God ever lost him, but I think he just got lost, you know, in his own ego. And so 20 years in, then it’s sort of like unbelieving my own press. And then other people are want to say, like, I can’t imagine that he’s capable of doing things or she’s capable of doing the kinds of things that I’ve heard that he or she has done. And that’s where it gets really dangerous. Like, I don’t want to believe that, you know, that you’re capable of disappointing me, or sinning in that way. When this is, where you know, Steve’s work over the years and your work Cathy over the years has been so important to just saying, Hey, listen, let’s get back to who we are and how broken we are and be honest about ourselves.
I think you can see now, how thought provoking and timely that conversation really was. And because it’s such an important topic, we want to give you that whole episode on a CD for free. Get yours right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an email to [email protected]. By mail, send your request to
Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794
If you’re in Canada, mail us at
Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8
Just ask for the free CD with Chuck DeGroat. And finally a question. If you believe there’s value in the content you hear on Key Life, would you give so that others could hear it. Any gift you give big or small is appreciated. Plus giving is easy. Just charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Key life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.