Kyle Idleman is the pastor of one of America’s largest churches, so he’s got a pretty good pulse on what Christians are facing in the current culture.
Idleman, teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, recently tackled a variety of subjects in an interview with Faithwire, including the ongoing divisiveness that has been raging in America.
In fact, the popular preacher encouraged people to look to Jesus to model their behavior and reactions amid the chaos and consternation that continues to ramp up.
“Jesus in so many ways was un-offendable … and, yes, it is a challenge, because there’s within us this strong sense of justice of, ‘You can’t treat me like that,’ of, ‘You need to make things right,” Idleman said, calling people to model Christ’s love rather than react to the division in a negative way.
He continued, “When we model that kind of genuine, not condescending … love and grace for people, that it is much more compelling, anyway, because it stands in contrast to how human nature and how our culture — especially at this time — approaches differences and offense.”
Idleman also talked about his new book titled, “Grace Is Greater: God’s Plan to Overcome Your Past, Redeem Your Pain, and Rewrite Your Story,” a text that offers Christians a deeper understanding of what transformational grace looks like.
Listen to Idleman dive deep into the grace discussion below:
It’s a project Idleman embarked on after becoming concerned that the word “grace” has been losing its meaning in Christian circles. Now, he’s hoping to change that.
“I have read before that one of the challenges for any communcator is to make the familiar new and the new familiar,” Idleman said. “What I have wanted to do in the book, rather than defining it with words — which I think has been done quite well … is just to help people define grace as an experience.”
He said he started to become concerned about the grace issue after noticing a need for communities to “rediscover grace” by elevating the concept from a mere theological definition to a real, tangible and emotive experience.
“You can tweet a short definition … or you can read a story of somebody’s life that has been trasnformed by grace or their past that has been redeemed by grace,” Idleman said. “The story is going to teach me more about grace.”
The pastor pointed to Jesus throughout the scriptures, who he said didn’t use the word “grace,” but, instead, told stories that helped his audience understand how God’s unconditional love works in practice.
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