FEBRUARY 28, 2024

Dear Friends,

It’s not unusual to see a video clip from Joe Rogan circulating on social media. Joe Rogan is, after all, the most listened to podcaster in the world. He has nearly 15 million subscribers. His most recent multi-year podcasting deal will earn him a reported $250 million dollars. When Elon Musk first appeared as a guest on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, the episode was seen by 69 million viewers.

When Joe Rogan speaks, lots of people listen.

Two years ago, Joe, who is an agnostic, had some characteristically brash things to say about Christianity. He called it “mythology and $%#%^ stupid.”

To quote his exact words, he said, “Christianity at the end of the day with no proof, everything is mythology.”

“If you have some proof that there was a God, that this God had one son and he made the son come down and get the &%$#@ beat out of him and nailed to a board so that we could all have no sin. Can you show me some studies? Do you have a box of evidence?”

That background makes what Joe said this week even more stunning. Here’s a clip that’s been tweeted and retweeted many times in the last few days.

If you’d like to see the clip, click here.

For those who don’t have the time or patience to watch the video, here’s a transcript.

“I think as time rolls on, people are going to understand the need to have some sort of divine structure to things. Some sort of belief in the sanctity of love and of truth. And a lot of that comes from religion. A lot of people’s moral compass, and the guidelines that they’ve used… to live a just and righteous life has come from religion. And unfortunately, a lot of very intelligent people, they dismiss all the positive aspects of religion because they think the stories are mere superstitious fairy tales that, you know, have no place in this modern world, and, you know, we’re inherently good and you’re ethics are based on your own moral compass and we all have one and… that’s not necessarily true.

We need Jesus (he laughs). I think for real. Like if He came back now, it’d be great. Jesus, if you’re thinking about coming back, now’s a good time. Now’s a good time.”

The men who founded our nation understood what Joe Rogan is realizing and articulating here – that there is a necessary connection between a well ordered, well governed society and religion – specifically, Christianity. It was John Adams who famously said “we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion… Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” And George Washington said “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness—these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens… reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.”

These kinds of self-evident truths are beginning to be recognized by people in our world who can see how the rise of the religiously unaffiliated “nones” has birthed in our world a concurrent rise in all manner of social pathologies. When someone like Joe Rogan looks at the world and says “we need Jesus,” it’s clear at least some people are beginning to recognize that the problems in our world have a spiritual root.

What we’re seeing in our world today is in line with Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount. Christians are, He said, the light of the world. When we find ourselves living in a world that is growing darker, the problem is that the light of the world is fading. When there are fewer Christians, the light will grow dim. The same is true when Christians fall short of Jesus’ charge that as His followers, we are to let our lights shine before men, so people will see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

If the problems in our world have a spiritual root, then the ultimate solution is not a political or economic or educational or social solution. It’s a spiritual solution. We need to be calling people to step out of spiritual darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). And as His followers, we need to be letting our light shine, through both our good works and our clear articulation of the good news that Jesus brings shalom.

A final thought.

I flinched a bit as Joe Rogan, after saying “we need Jesus,” went on to say “Jesus, if you’re thinking about coming back, now’s a good time.” I’ve prayed prayers like that. “Come quickly Lord Jesus.” I’m guessing you have too.

But as we’re seeing in our study of Revelation, when Jesus does come back, He will come with a sword in his mouth. He will bring judgment on the earth. And for those who have not bowed their knees to Him and surrendered their lives to Him, that day will be what the Bible calls “the terrible day of the Lord.”

I don’t know Joe Rogan’s heart. But if it’s not the new heart of flesh that Jesus gives to those who turn to Him, then the return of Jesus would not bring for him the peace and joy and love that he is wishing to see.

When Joe Rogan says “we need Jesus,” my prayer is that he will come to realize that he needs Jesus. He needs Someone who can save Him from himself. Someone who can bring him from darkness to light. From death to life.

Pray for Joe Rogan. Pray for our world.

And let your light shine.

Next Tuesday is the first Tuesday in March. That means we’ll be getting together as men on March 5. Dinner at 6:15, with our session at 7:00.

And then three days later, we’ll be getting together again for our Spring Men’s Retreat. I’m signed up. Are you?

Pastor Trent Griffith from Orlando Florida will be joining us as our speaker to talk about how we can be Men At Their Best.

Click here for more info or to sign up. It’s one night away from home. The cost is $100 and that includes four meals – from Friday dinner through Saturday dinner.

A week from Sunday, March 10, all RCC members are invited to our annual Church business meeting. We’ll be updating you on our finances, sharing about ministry plans for 2024 and beyond, and taking questions.
Yes, cheesecake will be served. While supplies last (72 slices will be available).

Sunday, March 10 at 4:00 pm. I hope you’ll plan to come.

Parents and students, don’t for get that this happens this week!

Easter is four weeks from this Sunday. Here’s a reminder of what’s happening that weekend.

As I shared with you on Sunday, I’d love for you to start now praying for two or more people you could invite to our Good Friday or Easter Sunday service.

Or if your friends have elementary aged children, invite them to our Resurrection Rally.

One easy way to invite folks is by giving them a copy of my new Easter book as a gift.

The books, along with invitation cards, will be available at church beginning this Sunday. You can get two books for a total of $5. It’s a great gospel giveaway, and a great way to open the door for a conversation with your friends.

You know there’s an eclipse coming, right?

Monday, April 8, the whole city will be shutting down midday for an astrological phenomenon that doesn’t happen very often. Kids will be out of school. Some businesses will be giving folks the day off. And people from all over the country will be coming to Arkansas to be in the path of the eclipse.

All over town, there will be eclipse watching parties.

So we thought “maybe we should have a party of our own!”

So here’s the plan. Bring the kids, bring your neighbors, and head to our playground area for the first (and only) Redeemer Total Eclipse of the Sun viewing event.

We’ll cook hot dogs and have bags of chips and bottled water for you. And we’ll also provide you with the special glasses you’ll need to view the eclipse safely.

And that’s the tricky part.

To make sure we have glasses available for you that day, we need some idea of how many of you are interested in bringing the family and getting together for the eclipse.

We don’t have an online sign up ready to go yet, but we’ll be posting one soon. And the deadline for the sign up (so we can make sure we have the glasses here) will be March 25.

Eclipses are always more fun when you experience them with friends, right?

We’ll take a break from our study of Revelation this Sunday to examine some of the significant events that took place as Jesus was making His final journey to Jerusalem on His way to the cross. We’ll be in chapter 10 of Mark’s gospel.

See you in church.

Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Bob

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