Principles Alone Will Fail You

Just when you think you've got it all figured out—God appears! And in doing so he rarely fits into the roles or expectations we assign to him. In this podcast Wayne and Brad talk about how principles alone will always fail us at the critical moments in life. We have been offered a relationship with the Father through his Son which can bring wisdom and resource into our lives. Through that discussion, they refer to popular author Anne Rice's decision to leave Christianity, feedback from a previous podcast on doctrine, a Christianity Today column about suffering as an extension of God's purpose in our lives, and a poem by poem by Jenny Rowbury, a young woman in England, that provoke us to move toward God in suffering and not away from him. God's amazing ability to work triumph out of tragedy is the only thing that makes sense in a broken world.


  1. Another hidden theme – brilliant! Anne Rice’s son is gay, I recall hearing a news report last year where the reporter asked her how she could be a Christian since Christians would not approve of her son and at the time she said that her particular church approved (which probably stirred up a crap storm at her church).

    In the meantime I am sure that she has also received daily mail from Christians voicing either empathy or judgement or both. Keep in mind that the reason that many Christians would have no problem sending a scathing judgmental message to Anne is because of a PRINCIPLE that Paul gave in II Corinthians. Namely that we should not judge non-believers but if someone claims to be a brother (or sister) then it’s open season!. Of course, Paul meant that in the context of real relationships but since most people don’t have those, they apply the principle to celebrities 🙂

    My best guess is that Anne is playing by the “rules” – if she officially renounces membership in the fraternity then she will no longer be subject to the hazing. It’s a sad state of affairs, but I suspect that many people in public life can relate to her decision.

  2. When I heard Anne’s announcement and why she made it, I decided to make the same proclamation on facebook, where I doubt that many people noticed. But still, I said I no longer wanted to be a Christian but rather a follower of Jesus.

    I may need to retract that and add this link as to why I am willing to call myself a Christian. I could also refer to C.S. Lewis’s book, Mere Christianity which is the best definer of what it is to be a Christian in terms of beliefs. I wonder what you guys think about that.

    I had a hard time sleeping last night and so at 5am when I really wanted to get some shut eye, I put on your podcast and went to bed listening. I was able to sleep like a baby as your words lulled me to sleep. This is no insult! Your podcasts hold my interest. But for some reason just listening soothed my mind and heart.

    Love you guys, and thanks so much.

    Reconciliation is really my highest priority and I appreciate you both for your emphasis on that topic.

    Wayne, I really, really appreciate your willingness to communicate via email. Don’t let Brad persuade you to change in that way. I think you get a lot of fulfillment communicating–and I know you have really demonstrated the love of Christ by your willingness to respond. However, if you ever need a secretary to screen your emails and help respond with some form letters when you are getting thousands of emails a day–would you please consider hiring me as your secretary?:I love to read and I am very discerning–I will filter out the most important ones like offers to put your life story into movie form. (Brad will lose such offers as he purges his email–but that’s okay):)

    I hope you have a wonderful vacation Wayne.

    Okay, I am going to listen to this again while I am fully awake and very much looking forward to it.

  3. I checked out the link to the Anne Rice announcement. I couldn’t agree more. How profound that she clearly separated the failure of a religion from her faith in Christ. She didn’t “throw out the baby with the bathwater”

    Way to go Anne!!!!

    Rice wrote, “For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian … It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”

    Rice then added another post explaining her decision on Thursday:

    “My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn’t understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me,” Rice wrote. “But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been or might become.”

  4. Principles never lead to LIFE… principles have a place, but Christianity has become a self-help gospel of “if ypu follow these 4 principles for a great marriage…” and LIFE is the goal. Life in Christ

  5. I grew up an “evangelical Christian” back in a day when “Christian” meant being Jesus to the world and “evangelical” was a passion to invite people in, not kick them out.

    It’s hard to lay down a banner which, for so much of my life, represented something good and noble, but which now sadly identifies a “quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group”. It would be easier if I had another banner to take up in it’s place, one which instantly says to everyone, “I believe in a God of love, grace and healing. This is my Jesus, and everyone is invited”.

    Suddenly I find myself with an identity crisis before a world that demands a proper label before they will trust me…

  6. Wayne and Brad

    Thanks to both of you for last weeks podcast on Principles Alone Will Fail You. As I listened to my iPod while traveling, there in the car I just began weeping as you both talked. This podcast message was moving past my intellect as it touched the depth of my heart. Once again I am thankful for the influence you have brought to my life.

    I know it is a short note but I just wanted to pop my head up and say thank you for being your authentic selves and sharing with me from your lives. I appreciate you both.

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