Justice? Overreaction has taken its place. Our love has grown cold just as Jesus warned. The state of our culture and even the church was predicted. It's not the first time we've been here nor will it be the last. It may even get worse. ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
(From the Archives, Originally Broadcast 08-28-2014) What can a marriage survive if Jesus is at the center of it? Anything and my marriage to the Lovely Bride is proof of that. We have twenty years of struggles, trials, and love that have had people thinking we're through more that once. Take a listen and be encouraged no matter what you're facing in your own marriage.
Monday, July 2, 2018
Monday, June 25, 2018
(From The Archives, June 15, 2015) Conversations about PTSD and other mental illnesses are increasing. As this interest and awareness grows, the church needs to respond. What's our track record and how do we go forward from here? ©2015 Mike Kerby and Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, June 18, 2018
(From The Archives, Originally Broadcast 02/23/2015) There are many who say that we throw around the word heretic far too often. There's some truth to that but that doesn't mean we should shy away from it completely. The question is when is a teaching heresy and when is it an honest disagreement?
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
One of them I addressed in the program is that we're not teaching the Word as truth. I don't believe this is intentional nor do I believe that those doing the teaching deny the truth of Scripture. It's that we use the language of fiction to teach about real events and real people. Talking about Bible characters and teaching Bible stories makes it seem like morality tales not much different than Aesop's Fables. They're just stories that didn't really happen. That's what we're conveying without really meaning it. Younger generations raised in the church don't have the grasp of Biblical reality that they needed to go out into a hostile world.
However, I think I understand something as I've looked at the issue from another angle. At the beginning of the heat on water being turned up, we didn't take it seriously. Our cultural frog was cooked because even when we noticed the water getting warm, we never believed it would ever get hot enough to boil. It took decades to get here. Evil is more patient than we are. As a whole, the church isn't very good at seeing how things play out in the long game.
The decline started a long time ago, the 50's to be more exact. It started with that piece of fiction known as the Kinsey Report and the publication of Playboy. These two launched the normalization of sexual immorality into popular culture. Kinsey especially with its almost scientific sounding work and the pushing of homosexuality as just another acceptable part of human sexuality. (The report also pushed pedophilia as normal and children as young as infants as sexual beings). Most of the church ignored these events as the culture of the time didn't as openly embrace either of these, although Playboy did make several ripples in the social fabric.
Starting with these two events, those who embraced these ideas pushed them into the forefront through entertainment. Over time, resistance was worn down. When Ellen Degeneres came out as a lesbian, there was a small furor but not much. Her show only got cancelled because it lost its charm when it became all about her being gay. The humor was stripped from it. Then came shows proclaiming that not only was homosexuality normal, gays were cooler than everybody else. Queer Eye for The Straight Guy was about a group of gay men fixing a clueless straight man. People ate it up.
At the same time, morality standards were dropping in other areas. In the 90's, the Federal Government's standards on obscenity were no longer enforced. At a time when the internet was just beginning to explode, the graphic nature of pornography went wild. Twenty plus years later, it's embedded so deep in our culture that we may never be free of its influence.
And what was the church doing when we could have done something to stem the tide? Ignoring it. Not like today when we're afraid to deal with it because of the hate mail and fear of losing people but because we didn't see the danger. The prevailing attitude of the day was that this was so obviously wrong that we didn't need to say so. Everyone sitting in the pews knew homosexuality was wrong. They knew that sex outside of marriage and porn was wrong. Why insult their intelligence by telling them what they already know?
And that's precisely the problem. Certainly, most of the people in church in those days did know that. Most of us assumed that what wasn't being said in church was being said at home. It obviously wasn't. The later generations never heard it and were more easily swayed from the truth of the Word. People who never really got that the Bible is history and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit were more easily deceived by the messages the world was sending. Add in the absurd idea that loving someone means supporting everything they do, and we have our current problem. So when we ask, "Why are people surprised when we believe what Christianity has taught from the beginning?" we need to consider that they may actually have never heard it before.
We need to always be bold preaching the Word, now more than ever. Fearless preachers and Christians can always make a difference when empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit. The truth of God's Word will not change no matter how much anyone might want it to. Our call to be gentle and bold must be fulfilled. The bullies and the hateful are here. Those who call evil good and good evil are more powerful than ever. We can't change what has already happened, we can only be faithful today.
Monday, June 11, 2018
How did we get here? What was once common is now hate speech. Attacks on Christians and Christian beliefs are rising. Is the world at fault? Perhaps there's something far worse at work inside the Body of Christ destroying us from within. ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, June 4, 2018
There's been a lot of discussion on social media about worship music lately. Questions like, "Just because it's a good song does that mean it's worship?" and, "What makes a good worship song?" are being asked more frequently. It's a bit of a minefield but we're going to venture into the topic. ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Introspection and insight can often come from unexpected places. Who would have ever guessed that a silly poll on Facebook could lead to such deep thought and prayer? The answers people gave opened the door for me to gain fresh insight into an often missed and greatly misunderstood blessing. In fact, it's a blessing many Christians don't really want but it would revolutionize their lives if they receive it. ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Do you want to be popular? Wouldn't you love to sell lots of books? It would be so awesome to get invited onto Christian networks! Maybe you prefer to be well known in politics or online. All of it is right there for the taking! How you ask? It's simple! You can decide if the price is right! ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, May 14, 2018
We get a lot of questions. Many of them are about the content of one of the episodes, seminars, other media we do. However, we get one question over and over again, at least in one form or another. That question: Why do you do what you do? That's a loaded question with a loaded answer. ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, May 7, 2018
The church avoids it like it's on George Carlin's list of seven dirty words yet it's one of the most important truths necessary to understand God's love. Why do we avoid talking about discipline? Worse still, why do so many teach that the Lord doesn't discipline his Church? There's something precious we lose when we miss the essential truth of God's discipline. ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, April 30, 2018
Sometimes there are things that we would rather not know but we need to in order to protect ourselves and our families. This week's episode is about some of that information. We're discussing the language of pornography and sexual addiction and the dark corners of the internet. If you're concerned about the scourge of porn in the church and the effects it's having, this is one you don't want to miss. Tie-in for The Out of The Shadows Conference. ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, April 23, 2018
What a Real Man like in marriage? What kind of woman does he really want and how does he treat her? In a culture losing site of what it means to be a man or a woman, these once common and basic concepts are foreign. A marriage built on these principles will not be easily shaken. Straight outta Scripture! ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
From The Archives 10/20/2014: How does the church connect with people? Some say that we need to find a way to make the church relevant in this modern age. Critics claim that relevance waters down the message. Is there some truth to that? If so, how do we reach people?
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Instead of doing damage, will we dare to be different? All too often followers of Christ seem to be just going with the flow of this world. When we do, we are missing out. We're going to be hated anyway so why not be hated for what matters? ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, March 26, 2018
"Honor, respect, and truth are to be the watchwords for all followers of Christ Jesus who are lead to engage in public discourse." When those words were spoken nearly ten years ago, I had no idea how much they would mean today. Thanks to social media, we are all engaging in the public discourse. That means we can help or hinder the message of Christ. What happens when we hinder it even unintentionally? ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, March 19, 2018
Trials sometimes go on much longer than we anticipate. When they do, discernment becomes much more important. Often, we hear well meaning advice or offers of help. Whether or not they are of the Lord is the key to ending the trial. ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, March 12, 2018
Manhood is in jeopardy! The myth of toxic masculinity is pushing men out to the edge more and more. The response in the younger generations is to go to one of two extremes that are for more toxic. Understanding what a Real Man is and passing that down have become more important than ever. ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, March 5, 2018
Activists and politicians throw around the term Nazi in interviews, protests, and speeches. They claim that we are moving closer to a Nazi state. There may be some truth to it but not in the sense that they mean it. The real parallels between our current culture and the Nazis are far less economic or political but much more damaging. This is a fight we cannot afford to lose. This loss in Germany made the rest so much easier. ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries, Produced By Deep Mystery Studio.
Monday, February 26, 2018
(From The Archives originally broadcast 02-06-2014) Strange fire has been a growing discussion in the last few years. Okay, maybe discussion isn't the right word. Battleground in the church civil war is a more accurate way to put it. What is strange fire and how did it become this rallying cry in a growing doctrinal battle?
Monday, February 19, 2018
After yet another attack and act of evil, the political, media, and activist machines are in full swing. Blame shifting and tribalism are on full display. Christians are falling into the pattern with everyone else. There is a better, more important role for us. ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Friday, February 16, 2018
A few months ago after another shooting, I recorded an episode called The Growing Stigma about my concern that the mentally ill would become even more ostracized than they already are in our society. That concern is growing with each incident.
The battle lines have been drawn for a long time. People on front lines are increasing the assault with their rhetorical weapons. Some blame guns while others blame mental illness or the medications used to treat it. The government, people who interact with the shooters, and anywhere the blame can be cast fill the online world. People are demanding a solution and none of them will be happy unless it's their version that wins. The tribalism that has been rising in America is on full display.
Very few are hitting close to the mark. We live in a secular society that has cast off the safety lines of religion and morality. It's like trying to steer a ship without a navigation system. You don't have any idea where you're going and no idea how to get there even if you did. Worldviews have consequences.
As faith and religion have been systematically removed from culture it has been replaced with an almost nihilistic society with no purpose and no real meaning. In a world of Darwin, Planned Parenthood, and environmental extremism that puts the Earth and animals above humanity, life has lost all meaning and is cheap. We're nothing more than animals who won the evolutionary lottery and got big brains. Mankind isn't special or unique. Why should we give more thought to ending a human life than we do to killing a dangerous stray dog? In fact, many environmentalists are also abortion activists that do put the life of an animal or plant above human life. This is the main message in the media and education system. Is it any wonder why violence is on the rise?
Mental illness is not to blame. Guns are not to blame. The FBI and government aren't to blame. Large, sweeping legislation to change or alter any of those will not solve the problem. As long as we teach our younger generations that human life has little to no value, we will have shootings. We will have death.
Just over thirty years ago, I was a lonely, nerdy kid. I had few true friends and even fewer that knew about the anger that was seething within me. I lived angry. I was constantly bullied by the jocks, preps, and any other group that could get away with it. In today's world, I would have been an at risk youth to be one of these killers. However, we still lived in a culture that largely respected life. For all of the failings of the Eighties, that much was still true. The idea of shooting my tormenters never crossed my mind even when I had my hunting bow at school for archery class in PE. (It was a lot of fun to see them try to draw my bow and fail.)
Beyond the respect for life, I had people in my life that would have seen something if there was a problem and acted. I also found target shooting to be very therapeutic. I could send my rage into that target and feel the stress leaving. It was my best outlet. I shot a lot of arrows in the range my parents set up in the basement of our house. In my case, a weapon was a great relief valve that I used often.
Jesus warned us that in the last days, the love of many would grow cold. (Matthew 24) Is there any doubt that we are in such times? We scream and shout about bullying yet certain groups are socially acceptable targets. We talk about compassion for the masses but the individual slips through our fingers. Compassion and love are not for the masses but for each person. Real love is shown not on grand scales but in small acts of kindness, respect, and mercy.
The shrinking Christian minority needs to withdraw from these huge debates about massive programs and legislation save to say that these solutions will fail. Only by demonstrating the real love of Christ can we hope to change the direction. Human life will still have little to no value as long as we continue on this path. Those who are outside of Christ do not have an understanding of love, mercy, and justice. If we live such things in obedience to the Word of God, we can be the shining example we are called to be. If we engage in the blame games of the world, we lose and our society is lost.
Monday, February 12, 2018
The final installment of the Fifty Shades of Grey film series has been released. In addition to being pornographic in nature, it's just one part of a much larger sales pitch aimed at making pornography and alternative sexualities culturally acceptable. It's deeper, more common, and more insidious than could ever be imagined. ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, February 5, 2018
Are you at the Red Sea? It's a specific trial that we must face from time to time but it may not be what you think. How we arrive at this trial may seem counter to what is popularly taught in much of the church. It is, at its core, one of the most important tests we face in our walk with Christ. ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Monday, January 29, 2018
We say it all the time. Books with this advice sell millions of copies. Speakers and preachers proclaim it all the time. We tell it to our children. The truth is, it might just be the worst advice we can give someone. There is something better. ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Check out this episode!
This episode was very challenging. I knew that by taking on the whole "chase your dreams" mentality that permeates our culture and the church that I was doing something unpopular. Given the number of messes that our team has cleaned up in the wake of a conference, book, or what passes for revival in some churches, I couldn't keep silent.
The longer I follow Christ, the more that closer adherence to what the Word of God actually says becomes important. Fast and loose interpretations or subtle worldly influences drop away in the light of His real truth. Finding who we are called to be and the good works prepared for us ahead of time is far more important than dreaming big dreams and chasing them. Like it or not, most of us are not called to do what we would consider large and important. However, God is often in the things we see of little impact in our fleshly mind but are huge in His Kingdom.
Monday, January 22, 2018
We're considered a subculture ministry and part of a much larger network (KMMG) with a large number of ministries. Just what is a subculture? Is this something that needs to be abandon when someone comes to Christ? How do we develop our expectations?These may seem like small things but they go to the heart of church unity and what we expect a Christian to be. ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries - Recorded and Produced in The Deep Mystery Studio
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Before I go further, if you're surprised that people who don't know or follow Jesus live in sin and selfishness, step back and think about that. We cannot hold those who are still living in the flesh to the same standard we are supposed to hold. Sinners will sin. Sexual sin is easy to fall into and hard to break free from especially when trying to do it through your own strength. These scandals are not new but their growth is part of a much larger problem. We are now ministering and striving to live for Jesus in a sex obsessed culture full of pornography in all its forms, dropping sexual standards, and sundering of relationship (especially marriage) from sex.
Do we need to be concerned about this? Absolutely. At a conference in Peoria, IL in November of 2015, Josh McDowell called pornography one of the two greatest obstacles to the spread of the Gospel. However, we can't stop the slide amongst the lost until we deal with it inside the Body of Christ. How can we go forth and bring the redemption of Jesus to a lost and dying world if we have surrendered so much ground to the sins of the flesh? If we're not walking according to the freedom we have been given in Christ, how can we offer it to those who are trapped in that cycle and are hell-bound?
I wasn't a follower of Christ yet when Jimmy Swaggart fell but I remember it well. I remember the jokes, the thoughts that Christians really didn't believe the stuff they said, and the prostitute's spread in Penthouse. I remember all of that. I shudder to think what that did to the church's ability to witness in those days. I wish we had learned our lesson but we didn't.
While doing the research for the conference, I have read a lot of articles and posts about sexuality and porn in the church. I've read Whisper confessions from youth pastors talking about the young women (and in some cases young men) in the group that they's slept with while serving in ministry. I've seen the numbers on porn use amongst Christian men and women. I've seen the slide in morals and moral understanding of sexual integrity inside the church, especially in the younger generations. High profile affairs from pastors in churches both large and small break on the news. The morass of the world's falling morals is sinking into the church.
Sin, of any kind, draws us further away from the Lord we are called to follow. Shame, guilt, or, in later stages, pride all serve to block the channel of hearing the Lord's voice and our willingness to listen to His voice. Our sin, the flesh, can consume us when we allow it. If that sin remains in the dark, how can we be free?
It is written:
For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light"
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
I John 1:8,9
When we bring a sin into the light, it is for the purpose of redemption. That's why we put on conferences, teach, and reach out to the church. Restoring the sexual integrity of the church is essential on the path to holiness we are called to walk. If we act like the world, dress like the world, allow the world's graphic entertainment into our homes and minds, and talk like the world, how will they see the difference made by Jesus? Why would they want Him if we aren't changed?
These are difficult issues to take on inside the church. Since it's been left in the dark for so long to fester, few pastors, leaders, and congregations even know where to start once they see the issue clearly. The fundamentals are the same but getting there is a little tricky. There's a level of shame and guilt involved that few other sins bring. Add the addiction component and you've got a mess that needs to be sorted. We're here for you.
If you're in Central Illinois, join us May 19th for the Out of The Shadows Conference to be equipped to handle sexual sin, pornography, and their consequences such as adultery and divorce. If not, please contact us about how we can come to your community. We can bring our resources and help you discover what you have on hand that can help.
Restoring the sexual integrity of the Body of Christ is essential to our mission to bring Jesus to the world.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
We like to believe that we live out lives free of prejudice, especially as Christians. That is part of Kingdom living. After listening to a talk about racism at a Christian Men's gathering, my thoughts ran to all of the mistrust, misunderstandings, and prejudices that trouble the Body of Christ today. It's more than racism and more than you might think. ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries, Produced in The Deep Mystery Studio
Monday, January 8, 2018
Walking in integrity is more difficult now than it has been in our memory. Many of us don't even have a good grasp on what having integrity means. What is it to walk upright before God? What benefit it is to us? ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries
Thursday, January 4, 2018
The starting of a new year is a good time for reflection and for moving forward. How do we see God using Jesus' Outsider Ministries in the coming year? What is Phase Two and what can it mean for you and your church? ©2018 Mike Kerby & Jesus' Outsider Ministries