So in following up with our recent church visit to one of our favorite local bars, Pete’s Candy Store, I decided to do a little research into Revolution Church via their website (because we all know the web is the definitive source for truth and information). We also went back last Sunday.
I figured that I would give you a summary of my impressions thus far, being that we have been there and, well, I haven’t seen you there, so if you’re wondering…
Here’s the short version of this post:
Jay Bakker knows his poo and backs it up with a healthy dose of lovin’ (i.e. grace).
Here’s the long version:
I wanted to get a general sense of what was actually being said at Revolution aside from the two bits I get from the show. So I went to their website and found a link to download the podcast. Being familiar with listening to sermons online (yes, I am that much of a dork, but LOTS of other people do too) I grabbed about 9 of them and started painting our bathroom (it needed it).
01-07-07 Have We Forgotten How To Love?
12-17-06 Eyes Wide Open (Gabriel)
11-26-06 Gay Doesn’t Equal Sin (Marc Brown)
02-13-06 To Be or Not To Be (Stu)
12-12-05 Fight, Flee or Forgive (Stu)
09-19-05 Are We Traditional Christians? – This is the real controversial one, if you watched the show. It’s also a pretty great sermon. Maybe the best on the subject I’ve ever heard. The show totally didn’t convey it. I think this shows more chutzpah than a lot of people who consider themselves radical and tow a party line (whatever that party might be).
10-18-04 Tolerant Love
01-21-07 Active vs. Passive Righteousness (Galations 1)
10-29-06 Finding Grace (Jim Bakker)
That was really two coats and several train rides to and from work, but I managed to get through them. I actually enjoyed a lot of them too. Like Stu, for instance. Dude throws it down. He’s hilarious.
I like Jays preaching style. He’s pretty standard – starts with a concept, a non-sequitur, introduces scripture, non-sequitur, grace, non-sequitur, more grace, non-sequitur and a prayer. He gets distracted – but so do I, so I get it. The fact that he always brings it back to grace could be annoying if he didn’t have a gift for applying it and, well, if that wasn’t the whole point. It’s nice to hear someone preach who I feel like I can somewhat relate to – who’s references come from his own experience, which is similar to mine and yours (if you’re in my demographic).
And it’s abundantly clear that he likes Johnny Cash a lot. That should speak for itself.
OK, so we actually went there Sunday. It turns out that a friend of mine from church and a homegroup bible study I went to was there also and is a friend of Jay’s. It was cool to see a familiar face and hear positive things about the church that weren’t on tv. We got there a little late *note – it’s pretty packed, so get there early* and sat in the back near the entrance. That was fine because they piped the sermon over the full sound system so everyone could hear it. It was a little wierd for the people coming in for open mic night that starts at 5pm, but the audience was pretty captivated.
The sermon was on passive vs. active grace. Like, saving grace vs. working grace (oversimplification). I liked it, it didn’t negate James and the things you do as a result of God’s grace, but also didn’t leave you feeling guilty for not teaching Sunday School. It’s also not that sugar-frosting grace that smears over everything and negates sin or …reality – real grace for real people.
At this point in the blog Beth is probably going to label me “obsessed” (like I’m “obsessed” with Marcella Hazan and the fact that my cat’s butt stinks). I’m not. I do, however, want to give props where props are due. A former pastor of our former church used to preach grace every week and it was often irrelevant, overly-simplified and predictably boring. Jay preaches grace from the first person – “It changed my life.” That’s the kind of grace I can listen to over and over.
I bought it a long time ago an it still smells fresh.
It makes me want to write sermons myself. In fact, I’ve thought of doing that for an art project. If I do, you’ll be the first to read about it.