Roger Fredrikson (w/ Dallas Willard + Richard Foster) — Beyond Sin Management
Richard Foster: [00:02:52] Renovare and what we do is not about personalities. And that's one of the reasons that we always work as a team, because then the various gifts of the people of God can come forward and we can live and move in that and be strengthened by it.
Of course, the life in the kingdom must always be enfleshed. And that does take people. And we're so thankful for the various ones that teach me and teach you and help us all. Roger Fredrickson is one of those kinds of persons. When I first was considering a move to Wichita, Kansas to teach at a university there.
I mean, I thought Wichita, Kansas was the end of the earth. And, it's not, I want you to understand that. So we're lovely place. It is not the end of the earth, though you can see it from there. And, very wisely the college president when Carolyn and I went there to just be together and think about this idea.
He invited Roger and Ruth Fredrickson to meet with us and have dinner. I'll tell you that president knew exactly what he was doing. I immediately fell in love with those two people. They just had the ability to kind of put their arms around the city in the world and people and everything. It was a great blessing.
Roger had come to that city of Wichita to pastor a church that had really been broken. There'd been a church split.
You understand about those things? I bet. And a great human, which facility downtown, probably seat a few thousand and there was just a couple hundred folk left. After many people had left and built a very big facility.
And I watched Roger take that church. He wrote a book about it, called _The Church That Refused to Die_. And I watched that. And then whenever I could, I would just try to slip in. I remember once coming, Roger doesn't even know this. I came to their new year's Eve service. Just sat there, just cause I wanted to soak in that life. Just the life of God. And Roger's the only person who has ever been able to get me onto a committee. You do know that Bible verse...God so loved the world that he did not form a committee.
But Roger got me on a steering committee to bring Leighton Ford for a campaign in the city. I just watched how he threw his arms around the city. We'd meet in Hispanic churches. We meet in all kinds of places and our steering committee and how the love begin to flow. And then the last service. And then after that service, we went over to the church that had split away from Roger's church and the hostility was such they wouldn't allow each other to go to the other church building, even just walk in the building. And, uh,= I just stood there amazed as we shared thanked each other. And then Roger stood up and said, you know, you all know what's going on between our two churches. And then he turned to wonderful pastor that other church.
And he said, I believe it's time to bury the hatchet. And he walked over and hugged that man. And I thought the kingdom of God has come near. See, and that's Roger Fredrikson, he's speaking to us this morning and I know he will point us to life in the kingdom of God and what that means. Roger come bless you.
Roger Fredrikson: [00:06:36] I had a friend who sometime ago gave me a statement that flies in the face of what Richard said.
It deals with a dilemma that we often get in once in a while get into the church. I was walking in San Francisco along the golden gate bridge. When a man I saw a man about to jump off. I tried to dissuade him from committing suicide and told him simply that God loved him.
A tear came to his eye. I then asked him, are you a Christian or a Jew or a Hindu or what? He said, I'm a Christian. I said, me too, small world... protestant or Catholic. He said, Protestant. I said, me too, what denomination? He said Northern Baptist. I said, well, me too. That's amazing. Northern conservative Baptist, or Northern liberal Baptist? He said Northern conservative Baptist. I said, I don't believe it. Northern conservative fundamentalist Baptist or Northern conservative reform Baptist? He said Northern conservative fundamentalist Baptist. I said remarkable, Northern conservative fundamentalist Baptist, great lakes region or Northern conservative fundamentalist Baptist Eastern region. He said Northern conservative fundamentalist Baptist, great lakes region. I said a miracle Northern conservative fundamentalist Baptist, great lakes region of 1879 or Northern conservative fundamentalist Baptist. Great lakes region of 1912. He said Northern conservative fundamentalist Baptist. Great lakes region of 1912.
I said, die heretic and I pushed him off
Now in the face of this. Let me just say before the session began, we either laugh or cry about that. Don't we. I met the pastor of the Metropolitan Baptist church again, who serves the church now in Texas, Phil Lineberger. Where are you?
Come down here, please. Just for a minute. Will you, as Richard has indicated, one of the great spiritual experiences of my life was when Metropolitan Baptist. And I want to say this in deep love, a great Southern Baptist church. And our tattered First Baptist church, American Baptist gathered for worship, which Richard, each other.
I want to say this man had the courage to go to a board of deacon. Some of whom said we don't want to go into a church building that was stolen from us. And our people said we don't want to drag out old dead bones again. And somehow we said to them, we pray each Sunday, forgive us our debts. As we forgive our debtors, we cannot do that and live this uptight way we're living. And out of a came a reconciliation service. Phil, I've carried you in my heart ever since. In fact, in my study, I've got the picture of the two. It was greeting one another, and I want to bless you and thank God for you.
I really think in a way, that's my speech.
I'm going to be very, very personal with you at the outset. Not because I want your pity just to state a fact.
Two-and-a-half years ago.... I was diagnosed with leukemia and I want to say that by love and prayers, a marvelous oncologist and sophisticated medication I'm doing very well.
Ruth. And I greet each day with joy and wonder and gratitude. Now resources come in at a time like this, because I went through several days of the dark night of the soul, Saint John of the cross said. But in the midst of it, there were assurances and prayers and love. And finally a profound new sense of the presence of God.
The Renovare office shipped me--it was a great package--the third chapter of the divine conspiracy, which deals with what Jesus knew, our God-bathed world. I sat down one night and started to read that I was so entranced and overcome. I at times wanted to shout. I wanted to weep because there came to me after all these years of preaching about the kingdom-- intellectually understanding the kingdom and I having intimations of the kingdom--there came to me a great new awareness of the wonder and the intimacy of the presence of God's kingdom in which I have rejoiced. And in many ways, grown in these last years.
Strange and amazing things happen. I was driving back from the hospital in a park that we call McKennan park. A boy was coming home from school. It's a simple thing. He had a knapsack over his back. He had a lunch bucket in his hand and he was just dancing. And I just stopped. And almost with tears of joy, watch that boy dance with freedom. And I thought about Jesus' incredible statement, unless you become as a little child, you'll in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven. And I said, Lord, I thank you that I see the kingdom all about me.
And since then, in all kinds of interesting, amazing unexpected places I have seen and experienced that kingdom for which I thank God. The sad thing and the things I want to say briefly here, girl, out of a love and a passion for the mandate, say it, the mainline church and the institutional church to which, and I, and I recognize we come from many different backgrounds here, but that…