"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Christian, Jesus is Your Jubilee, and You Can Rest - Part 1



"You will have preachers tell you that this year should be the time that you commit more TO God, that you promise to do more FOR God, that you work the fields DOUBLE. And what the preachers will say to you is 'God will be very pleased with you if you do that.' Do you not see that they have missed the Christian message?"
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Readers - over the next several days I want to share with you several excerpts from a sermon preached by Wade Burleson the first Sunday of January 2011. The short 2-minute video above is the first of about 4 clips I will show here on the blog.

On this blog we have looked at a number of mega church pastors over the past year or so that are really beating up the sheep during these tough economic times. Most of these mega church pastors are models for other pastors, their methods are emulated by other pastors who look up to them. These pastors load rules and regulations on the backs of their people. They use tactics of scare and guilt and shame, even ridicule and mocking, to get their sheep to bend to their will in the matters of service and financial contributions.

So it is time to take a step back and look at how simple the gospel really is that these men have complicated, and outright misrepresented.

In this brief sermon by Wade he explains how when you come to Christ, you can REST in your efforts to produce for God. You don't have to produce FOR God. You are not a slave to God. You are a "son" or "daughter" of God, and you can rest. When it comes to giving - you give generously as the spirit leads you. That is it. No need to have a man scare you, or pronounce curses on you and your family, or tell you that God collects it anyways through calamity.

The truth is we are free in Christ. Christ is our "Jubilee" as Wade preaches. Christians under the New Covenant are free, and are led by the Spirit. While Pastors use the Bible to create a holy sense of duty that Christians have to perform for God - and their pastor - to receive the blessings and favor of God, the truth is we can rest from our efforts to produce for God. Pastors are trying to say you "owe" God a tithe, that you have a debt that MUST be paid, else he will collect it by force and withhold blessings.

People, Jesus paid that debt, no matter how much the pastors point and stomp and yell to convince you otherwise.

I know many of those of you who regularly read this blog have endured much over the past few years from preachers who have spiritually beat you up and raked you over the coals. Some of you have had to leave your church, others have dealt with the conflict of leaving your church vs. staying and waiting. You feel tired and abused. You've had the bible used to beat you up over the head - that you aren't giving enough, you aren't serving enough, you're not faithful enough and that you will pay a price for your slackness. You've had pastors question your salvation, you men have had pastors question your manhood and your commitment to the Lord. You've given all you can but you've been made to feel it isn't enough, that still you can't enjoy the full blessings of God until you get to a certain level of giving. You've been yelled at, pointed at, lied to, and even mocked by the man in the pulpit.

And although I do focus on the mega churches on this blog because of their wide audience and influence of other ministers - these same antics happen in smaller churches. I know of one in particular in Jacksonville that is going through some upheaval and a church split over these same issues. It is so sad.

So enjoy these excerpts over the next several days from Wade Burleson. You will find them refreshing as you see a preacher who speaks the truth to the sheep about their position in Christ. He speaks the truth that so many pastors are afraid to preach these days, for fear that they won't get the results they need from their flock to keep the family business going.

If you want to see Wade's sermon in its entirety, go to his church's website here, click on the "Watch Live" button in the upper right hand corner, register for a login account, then go to his January 2, 2011 sermon entitled "Your Year of Jubilee".

Enjoy....more to come.

20 comments:

Thy Peace said...

Amen. Amen. Amen.

This message is the most basic and revolutionary and game changing message of Christ. Why do so many 'pastors' miss this message? Why do so many 'pastors' and 'teachers' butcher this message? Why do all these 'teachers' insist in asking us to perform for God? Why? Why? Why?

I have gone back to listen to Wade's sermons from the beginning of his teaching at Emmanuel-Enid and the message is consistent. I would encourage readers who are disheartened by Christian 'pastors' and 'teachers' to listen to Wade's sermons. You will be refreshed. You will be taught. You will be filled.

The earliest sermon series that indicates this consistent message of Wade is : Happiness in What I am. The corresponding book is at Amazon. The message is I am Loved, Forgiven, Chosen, Blessed, Not Rejected, Protected, Free, Adopted and Guided. (The downloads of the sermon links are faulty. You will have to add the word Archives and edit the extension of the sermon link from ram to rm: http://www.emmanuelenid.org/Archives/sermons/Happy/Happy4.rm. Then you can download the sermons for this series).

Also the current series on Hebrews has some excellent messages on Rest.

Blessings to All.

Anonymous said...

Pastors truly are evil and the spawn of Satan. We should rid ourselves of them all and then let the members run the church.

I would love to see this happen and then read your blog. It would be interesting to say the least.

Anonymous said...

I hardly consider Burleson an expert on anything. He is however a "master of disagreement." I think he just disagrees to disagree (as shown by his time on the mission board.)

He's a good guy but I always take his "new viewpoints" with a grain of salt. Remember, that James had a lot to say about works accompanying our faith.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Point proven by previous post. The thought is that pastors are superior, implication being that if the plebe members "ran the church", things would go haywire.

We need preachers to tell us what our "obligations" are to Christ, right?

But the point is, not all pastors, my friend, just some. And the "some" happen to be the most influential pastors in the country that so many other young preachers look up to.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Classic....attack the messenger personally, ad hominem...not deal with the substance of the message.

Sharon said...

This is so refreshing. Made me feel good just listening to it. Also, this relaxation- at- last was what was attractive about Calvinism. You could finally stop worrying and just rest and let God take care of it all. Anyway, that was the attractive part of Calvinism for me. Obviously the rest of it is not so attractive.

I think this also demonstrates that people want to hear a sermon at church that makes them feel better. What is so terrible about that? Now there are people who love to hear a fire-and-brimstone sermon about how all those awful, worldly people out there are headed for hellfire. They actually enjoy hearing that message. It makes them feel good.

Well I won't go on and on, but just wanted you to know that, even as an agnostic, this sermon was just nice.

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks for the shout out Watchdog. Also, great to know Thy Peace is enjoying Hebrews! :) It is about to replace Romans as my favorite New Testament book!!

Wade Burleson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wade Burleson said...

Sharon,

Not trying to correct you or change you, but a genuine question. You say of yourself, "Just wanted you to know that even as an agnostic, this sermon was nice."

Agnostic is defined as one who says "God may exist, but He is unknowable."

The entire point of the message is that those who know God through faith in Jesus Christ can rest from performing for God because Christ has accomplished the performance required by God on behalf of those who trust Him.

So...

In my way of thinking, if you truly have rest you are either no longer an agnostic and have come to faith in Christ, which makes God both knowable and loveable to you, or ...

You have missed the point of the message that those apart from faith in Christ will be righteously judged by God based upon the basis of their performance and obedience (or lack thereof) to His laws. And, according to sacred Scripture, everybody comes short of the obedience required. That is why the message of true Christianity is so refreshing. Christ is our Jubilee rest.

Just wondering out loud. :)

Sharon said...

Wade,
Thanks for your interest and your gentle comments. Yes, I do realize that my comment makes little sense, since as an agnostic, I don't really qualify for this rest you were speaking of and should instead be worried about going to hell. I think this is what I was trying to convey:

Hearing a positive sermon was very pleasant and uplifting, because I've spent most of my life being yelled at by fundie preachers. I'm from NC. The burden those preachers put on me caused me to sincerely try to figure out how to be a Christian, while never experiencing any kind of rest. How could anybody find rest under such treatment? It really messes up your thinking. At least it did mine, and I've encountered many others from the same background who say the same thing.

When I finally came across Calvinism in Philadelphia, it was a relief to sort of find this rest. But it was an uneasy rest, because real life just didn't seem to line up with what Christians say. Plus Calvinism seemed rather cruel on top of all that.

Eventually, and it took about 50 years, I ended up agnostic. So the rest I have now is more like the rest you have when something's not working and you finally find the wisdom to stop trying to make it work, figure it out, etc. So that's the rest I'm in now. Not that I'm totally at ease. In a way, I envy those Christians who seem to just enjoy this rest they have in Jesus. But I'm simply not like them-he hasn't revealed himself to me, he doesn't answer my prayers, I don't feel his presence, etc., etc., etc. So here I am.

Anyway, thanks for the interest and thanks, WD, for allowing this embarrassingly-long comment.

wadeburleson.com said...

I understand Sharon.

My prayer for you, and I don't mean this to sound trite (for I am sincere and have already literally prayed specifically for you) is that God in His love for sinners like us will allow you to see Him as He is - a kind, benevolent Father who is not cruel - and will give real, personal and complete rest to those who trust His Son (and ignore the fundamentalists who somehow miss the Christian message entirely).

Grace to you,

Wade

Sharon said...

Thanks, Wade.

Joyful Giver said...

I think that Wade is right on target. What would he do though if everyone, not just some, but everyone from his fellowship just stopped giving altogether?

Anonymous said...

If Wades church stopped giving? Wade would trust God and God would provide and Wade would go on serving God and rejoicing. He is a fresh and leading voice for today and counter to those who prey on the sheep.

Anonymous said...

My Bible says that faith without works is dead so there has to be a place for works somewhere along the journey. Maybe James was talking about works done from a joyous heart and not from the coercion of mega-church pastors or omnipotent bloggers.

Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

Works are very important as they are the evidence of a converted heart. Not necessary to improve our status as beloved of God

wadeburleson.com said...

For those concerned about "works" - just one word, and it comes from Jesus:

"By this shall ALL know that you are my disciples - your love for one another." (John 13:35).

Loving people, where they are, no matter who they are, and regardless of what they will become, is THE key indicator that grace is present.

Unfortunately, churches add about ten thousand other lists of things to this one simple commandment of our Lord.

Anonymous said...

Years ago in realzing my hardness it was not about my not doing enough, I realized that my ego was still on the throne. How does one do that "Go to the Cross" young pilgrim. There is a verse in Hebrews about needing to taught all over again in the aspect of God's grace. The fundamental problem lies in addressing the problem of pride.

Anonymous said...

'Pastors truly are evil and the spawn of Satan. We should rid ourselves of them all and then let the members run the church.'

are you not familiar with the audience most of the epistles were written to?

Anonymous said...

we just listened to the whole sermon while i'm recovering from surgery on a sunday morning overseas. so encouraging to hear those words coming from our region of the US (N.Tx/Ok)...it's really the 'message' we want to share whether overseas or in the states.
thanks so much, former IMBers