Many of you may already be familiar with our distinguished conference speaker, Dr. Rod Rosenbladt, but for those of you who are not, I thought I would put up a few posts that illustrate just why he is so important to us and why you should run, not walk, to next week’s Mockingbird conference in NYC. Way back when this ministry was not even a glint in DZ’s Mockingeye, we ran across his article entitled, “The Gospel for Those Broken by the Church”, that has, I think, remained a foundational document for what we are trying to do here–one of our formularies, you might say:) There is (and will be next week!) more to come about how much we appreciate Dr. Rosenbladt and his ministry to us, but I thought I would step out of the way and let the man speak for himself. Enjoy!
Excerpts from: The Gospel Is For Those Broken by the Church
“For some reasons that I think are fairly specifiable, more people than we would like to think leave “Bible-believing” Christianity. Some are sad about it. Some are mad about it. In our day, there are so many of these people that it is hard not to come into contact with them. Many of these people were broken by the church. I know that sounds harsh. As Christians, it’s upsetting to hear words like that. But for many people, this is how they really see what has taken place in their lives. . .
“. . . By the “sad alumni” of the Christian faith, I mean the hundreds whose acquaintance with the Christian church was often one in which they were helped to move from unbelief (or from rank moralism) into professing faith in Jesus Christ. They heard the preaching of God’s law and then heard the announcement of Christ’s work on their behalf on the cross — Jesus as the God-man who met the Law’s demands for them and died for their sin, died to save them, died to give them eternal life. And they came to believe that the cross of Christ was their salvation.”
And, in many cases, I think what happened is nameable. It has to do with what our first president at Christ College Irvine called “law-gospel-law.” It’s that third point that, if executed badly, results in a lot of the “sad alumni” of Christianity. If Reformation folk execute this badly, the sensitive Christian believer can be driven to a slavery as bad as any slavery done by any totalitarian dictator. If the Ten Commandments were not impossible enough, the preaching of Christian behavior, of Christian ethics, of Christian living, can drive a professing Christian into despairing unbelief. Not happy unbelief — tragic, despairing, sad unbelief. . .
“. . . What the “sad alumni” need to hear (perhaps for the first time) is that Christian failures are going to walk into heaven, be welcomed into heaven, leap into heaven like a calf leaping out of its stall, laughing and laughing as if it’s all too good to be true. It isn’t just that we failures will get in. It’s that we will get in like that. “You mean it was just Jesus’ death for me, that’s why I’m here?” But, of course. That’s the point isn’t it? As a believer in Jesus you won’t be condemned! No believer in Jesus will be. Not a single one!”