RG2G 012 What’s Gone Wrong With the American Church?

All of my adult life, I’ve had a passion to plant, lead, and grow the American church.  My years involved in this mission, this labor of love, has allowed me to see many movements come and go.  In today’s show I talk about what I think the three most important developments have been since 9/11, and three diseases that have shown up in the church as a result.

Let me be quick to say that there is a lot that’s going right with the American church.  But to truly reach our redemptive potential, we need to look inside and see what part of who we are has drifted from what our original mandate has been.

I talk about the three developments since 9/11; this brand new world that is more like the Old West was in the days when things were new, growing, and unpredictable in their directions.

I talk about the three diseases, the discomforts that have grown up in the American church, that have not addressed and reversed what keeps us from going to new heights of influencing contribution in this brave new world.

I truly do believe this is one of the best times to be leading a spiritual community, if you know where we are and how to engage.

RG2G 011 The Jesus I Never Knew

Today on Renegade’s Guide to God, David talked about the real Jesus; not the Jesus you often hear about in church – the nice, sweet Jesus.  Too often Jesus is presented in American culture in a bathrobe, pale, long blond hair, blue eyes, and limp-wristed.  And yet, the real Jesus was anything but.

So today David talked about why the very best word used to describe the kind of man Jesus was, would be Renegade. He defied convention at every turn.  He spoke truth to power.  He talked about the virtues like humility, love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness.  He said that His followers would be peace-makers. Yet at the same time He said He’s come to set son against father, wife against daughter, house against house.  What did He mean?  What kind of man is it that literally turns the world upside-down?

Think about it.  While Christianity has its problems, Jesus is more popular than ever.  After 2,000 years, Jesus simply won’t go away.  Today we find out some of the reasons why.

RG2G 010 Can You be a Christian AND an Intellectual?

I got an email this week from a longtime friend bemoaning the fact that while they are a Christian, they are having a very difficult time feeling comfortable in the churches in their city.  When I asked why, he responded, “It seems like to go to these churches I have to leave my brain at the door.”  He asked, “Is this just me?”

My response to him was that if this was the first, second, third, or even the hundredth time I’d heard this, I’d say “It could possibly be you. But since I’ve heard this hundreds if not thousands of times over 38 years, it’s really not you.”  It’s a problem that a lot of religious people have that drives thinking people away.  It’s not right and it shouldn’t go on.

So today we’re going to talk about faith and intelligence.  Are there reasons to believe?  Does faith demand and require reason, and does reason, in and of itself, at some point require faith?  Are they at odds with one another or can they be complements to one another?

Fundamentalism and fierce denominational loyalty have arisen in the American church to obscure the true nature of the gospel.  Jesus himself said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”  And while the Bible is not a history or science book, it is not at odds with either one.

If you’re looking for an intelligent faith, a faith that is satisfying to the mind, heart, and soul, then follow Jesus and you’ll find them all in one place.

RG2G 009 Why Aren’t Christians More Moral?

One of the most embarrassing facts about Christianity is that those who practice it are imperfect.  How shocking and yet, why would we expect anything else?

Oftentimes morality is used as a synonym for faith in Jesus Christ; that doing good things means I am a good person.  And if I am a good person, that means I do good things.  And yet, being a Christian has absolutely nothing to do with being a good person.  It’s not about being good, being better, being more, being enough, being perfect.  All of these are the statements of religion.

So if Christianity is not about morality, what is it about?  And how do you understand the difference between reformation and transformation?  We discuss all these today, on Renegade’s Guide to God.

RG2G 008 How Do I Find a New Church?

It is my firm conviction that everyone should go to church, and needs to go to church. But one of the biggest questions is, how do you find a new church?

Whether you are moving, have been inactive for many years, or have been hurt by a church-split or problem, if you’re now ready to try again, there are as many church choices as there are reasons to find one.

Today, I talk about some of the characteristics you need to look for in a church that you commit yourself to.

Going to church every seven days is not only a good thing, it’s a God thing.  It will revolutionize your life, your attitude, and your future.  So if you need a little help, or if you’d just like to measure your own church to see whether or not you’re the church other people would choose, today’s show is for you.

RG2G 007 Do I Have to Tithe to Be a Good Christian?

Giving is at the core of life, and it certainly is basic to the Christian life.  But the question is, how much should we give? Why should we give?  Do we have to give a certain amount in order to go to heaven?  Is tithing taught in the New Testament?  Even though it’s taught in the Old Testament, isn’t the fact that we are now under grace, not under law, proof that tithing is no longer the obligation?

One of the most important things you’ll ever do for yourself is to learn how to use money to win at life.  And you can’t win if you violate the very basic principles of giving.  We put the whole tithing and giving thing in perspective today on Renegade’s Guide to God.

RG2G 006 You Can’t be Rich and be a Good Christian

A good buddy of mine sent me an email about a book that has become very popular, very fast.  He asked me if I would read it and give him my input.  I did, and it just kindled the flame in me again to defy conventional wisdom that you can’t be rich and be a good Christian.

This book basically advocates that if you really want to love God, the best thing you can do is give away all your money and move and serve the poor.  And while this sounds good and pious on the surface, nothing could be further from the truth.

So today on the Renegade’s Guide to God, we talk about wealth; when it’s good, when it’s bad.  Is it a sign of God’s approval?  Everyone’s supposed to be wealthy; why aren’t some, why are others?  What is the best godly response we can make to money, wealth, riches, and ambition? Would we be better off if everyone was poor?

There are an awfully lot of people calling themselves Christians who are messing a lot of the rest of us up by their dumb views about spirituality, God, and money.  Listen to today’s episode and see what you think.

RG2G 005 The Scandal of Performance-Based Religion

Since there are just a few days before Christmas, I think it’s important to make one last effort to expose the scandal of religion.  I am not talking about a scandal where money is embezzled, or some sexual sin has been covered up.  I’m talking about something that’s far bigger, more pervasive, and more damaging than those things could ever be.

Today we try to understand that Jesus did not come to try to make us more religious. He did not come to give us a moral system.  He did not come to condemn us to hell or purgatory.  He came to demonstrate that His kind of spirituality and ultimate salvation is very, very different than a man-based religion of moralism, command, and control.

It’s sad to admit that in most churches across America on any given Sunday, what you hear is a performance-based religion.  Be good, be better, do better.  And while the goal is indeed to live the best life possible, none of these religious theories take into account that unless God moves to us, we are helpless and ultimately hopeless to change our own lives.

Today we take a good look at the first ten verses of Ephesians 2 and apply them to our lives so that Christmas might come alive with its wonder, its joy;  that we might walk away with hope and humility, energized for a new year, knowing that God is truly with us.

RG2G 004 I Have Trouble Believing in God; I’m lost and Off-Track (part 2)

Today on Renegade’s Guide to God we’re going to continue our discussion of the questions that we’ve received from several people who are reaching out for help, asking really good questions.

One of the things that attracted me to Christ in the first place is that He always entertained questions.  He loves curiosity.  He knows that truth is important and that we shouldn’t stop short of truth by embracing religious cliche`s or sentimental beliefs.  So today we’ll talk about the real reasons you can trust the Scriptures, how you can know for sure, how you can avoid the pitfalls of condemning others.

Today’s episode is a great companion to last week.  Listen to them both, or share them with a friend and then have a conversation.

Remember, when people ask you questions about your faith, you’re to respond respectfully and rationally; not emotionally or religiously.

RG2G 003 I Have Trouble Believing in God, I feel Lost and Off-Track.

I received a correspondence on Facebook recently which read, “David, I am lost. I’m having trouble believing in God, I’m off-track and I don’t know where to turn. I have a hard time believing in the entire afterlife.  I’m an educated guy, and some of the things in the Bible are just too hard to believe.   I really want it to be true but I just have a hard time with it.  How do I do it?  What makes you know that there is a God and not just something we need? I am a lost soul in true need of help.  My main concern is that my children are not in church, and I want them to have their own opinion and not mine.  What do I do?”

When I hear these kinds of questions I, first of all, thank God that early in my life I was able to settle the question of faith.  So, for me, the existence of God is self-evident.  The question is, “Is He great, and is He good, and does He care for me?”

In today’s episode of Renegade’s Guide to God, I try to give practical responses to each one of these questions.  My heart certainly goes out to those who struggle to faith.  I’ve met many thousands of them over the years.  I know that Christianity is a lot to swallow.  But there is a way to come to a settled and confident faith.

So today we discuss each one of these questions and give solid, practical, functional answers to how you can build a first-hand faith that is solid, enduring, and growing stronger over time.  You need not put your head in the sand and just simply comply to religious demands.  You can be a truth-seeker, hold your head up high, use your brain, your mind, will, and emotions.  Be inquisitive and curious, honest and open, and God will lead you to the truth, the truth that will set you free.  All this today, on episode #3 of Renegade’s Guide to God.

RG2G 002 Can I know for sure I’m going to heaven when I die?

Today, we answer the question; “Can you be sure you’re going to heaven when you die?”

There is a huge difference between being religious and being Christian.  So much religious teaching and practice deals with modifying behavior rather than understanding that there is nothing you can do to make up for the moral deficit that exists between you and God.

You CAN KNOW FOR SURE that you are right with God.  You need not go through life doing good things hoping you’ve been good enough to impress God and gain entry to heaven!

We discuss a 5-step process, that can help you connect to God for good and forever!

Stop wondering and embrace the assurance that God wants you to have!

RG2G 001 What motivates and makes you grateful?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  And welcome to the new Renegade’s Guide to God show.  It’s a weekly show that will help you in your quest to know God, love God, and live the life for which you were created.

Since today is Thanksgiving, for our first episode I thought I would talk about what motivates us to be truly grateful.  One of the saddest things I see are people who have everything in the world to be grateful for, except the power to be so.

So today on the Renegade’s Guide to God show, I talk about the core of Christian theology.  Why is that important?  Because it becomes the core of our motivation. If you’ve lost your motivation this year and you need help getting it back this would be a great show to give you the inspiration and the information that you need.

RG2G 000 Introducing the new David Foster a Renegade’s Guide to God Show

Announcing a brand new weekly show called, “A Renegade’s Guide to God.” I have named it after my most popular book and will be a nonreligious, no nonsense, plain-speaking, fast-paced 30 minute show about how real faith works in the real world where real people need real hope. The goal is to help you live free, have fun, and change the world.

It will not be a “religiously correct” show.   I am looking to inspire, inform, and motivate the growing Renegade Nation out there who are sick and tired of all the religious double talk. Here are some of the things you can expect from this show:

  • Plain talk about the difference in between rule-based religion and a real, life changing relationship with God.
  • Interviews with leading authors who write important book about faith and how it relates to our everyday lives.
  • Commentary of current news that reflects on how we can live “Christianly” in the real world.
  • Answers to questions submitted by our listeners (The Renegade Nation)

Listening the introductory show will give you a little idea about who I am and what I am all about. For more on me check out this link.

This show will be added to my 3 other weekly podcasts. Here are a list of the other show you can check out?

  1. The David and Paula Show
  2. David Foster at The Gathering (Audio)
  3. David Foster at The Gathering (Video)