The Remarkable Replacement Army

Wayne and Brad discuss Stan Firth's newest book, The Remarkable Replacement Army, which uses an analogy about the Norwegian army and how it handled Nazi occupation in World War II to help people understand what might be happening across the church today as more people are disillusioned with the conventional institutional forms and are convinced God is asking something different of them. Stan shares from his own heart and life to those who are concerned about what's going on in the church today and gives them some guidelines about how they can live during this season, both in connecting with other believers and in being part of God's unfolding kingdom int he world.

Podcast Links:
Orphanage Relocation in Kenya
The Remarkable Replacement Army
Stan Firth Interview on a previous podcast.


  1. Hey guys, again for what it’s worth. We live by encouragement from the Holy Spirit and die without it – slowly, sadly and angrily. I agree that we should bless those who cross our path. Heaven forbid that we reduce that precept to ” do-goodism” (religion) with a set of guidelines. Let’s be honest, compassion for compassion’s sake(liberalism?) is at best self serving. Some days, the only way I can “show” love for my neighbor is to not punch him in the nose and I’m sure at times he has the same attitude, thank God. May we truly live loved in God’s love without trying to define it (good luck with that one). Thanks. Gman.

  2. Hey guys! Let me say how encouraging this podcast was. I’m still finding my way through this “living free” in Him and how it plays out in my life will not (and is not meant to) look exactly like someone elses life. I appreciate that God is working through those “thousands of decisons made by thousands of people”. In the middle of the presure I am facing right now one thing that has helped to alleviate unnecessary burdens is the realization that He is “Commander in Chief” and as such my “management” and all of the effort that entails can be laid down. Blessings.

  3. Thanks for talking about J.O.Y. Jesus said to love your neighbor AS you love yourself – if you are a self loathing person (based on your belief in what the preacher said about you) then you will be loathing your neighbor as you loathe yourself. And as you also pointed out, if you say you love Jesus and don’t love your brother you are lying.

    So it is really the opposite – Y.O.J
    – you have to love Yourself before you can love Others and you have to love Others before you can love Jesus.

    I remember opening “The Purpose Driven Life” and the first thing it says is “It’s not about you” and I thought “Really?” I think it is…

  4. I read the book because you were going to talk about it & while there were some bits I liked, like the ‘cross your path care’, I didnt like the book at all. A boring read even.
    I love the podcast but I prefer books that are mostly story or information that I am seeking.
    Keep up the good work guys!

  5. I don’t believe that the Great Commission is for everyone. I believe it is for people God explicitly empowers. The apostles went out with a real power and authority. They walked with Jesus for three years and received extraordinary power from His touch. They performed miracles to back up their claims that they were of God. I see that this misapplication of the Great Commission has burdened people who are not called and not empowered with REAL power and pushed them into an unwilling, high pressure position. I wonder how many people would not be pastors, evangelists, or missionaries if they did not believe the Great Commission is for everyone? I wonder how much of the Truth has been twisted because of this belief. What happens, then is that you have a lot of would be evangelists form a sect in Charismania or pentecostal circles, trying to summon the power of God, usher in that Holy Spirit so they can know power. It is here that you have a twisted imitation of the real power of the holy Spirit and it is just emotionalistic well-wishing. It has caused me, personally a lot of damage, thinking I had a job, and the power, that I didn’t actually have. It turned me into a religious nut that did more damage than good.
    I see the Church no more as a powerhouse bringing pure truth of God’s love and salvation to the world, but merely an echo of an echo with no power, trying to convince people of something they have no real power to back up. If you told a first century apostle to back up his authority, he would raise the dead and cause cripples to walk. What do we have? A theology degree from a seminary and strong emotions that make us feel called?
    Jesus says that many are called but few are chosen. Many Christians believe this is referring to salvation. I say nay. I say it is referring to the work of the Kingdom and that Great Commission.
    I also believe that “following Jesus” is not the same thing as salvation. Just because you are saved doesn’t mean you follow Jesus. Jesus took the time to explain clearly what was required to actually follow Him. It literally cost someone everything to do so. In fact, Jesus sent people away who weren’t ready and cautioned people not to if they couldn’t count the cost.
    Does this mean that the average Christian cannot show Christ’s love in the work force and the daily routine? of course not. But what I am saying is that the pressure is off of the average Johnny Church goer to do something that was meant for those endowed with the power of God Himself to do.

  6. Wayne and Brad,

    I listened to the Remarkable Replacement Army podcast today, and I enjoyed it. Thank you for your input to us. I very much agree with the ministry to those that God brings across our path, I feel it is very important. When I was young, I went to Catholic school, and although much of what I learned that was specific to Roman Catholicism I have left behind, there were some points that impressed me and stick with me. The one that comes to mind here is about a priest who is on his way to deliver the last rites to someone who is dying. To Catholics it is very important to receive absolution, communion and the last rites from the priest just before death. It could be the difference between “getting in”, and “missing out” (dear Catholic friends, please don’t be offended if I treated the subject too lightly. Please bear in mind that these are the adult memories of the impressions of a 10-year-old!). The part that impressed me was that they told me that if the priest comes across the scene of a traffic accident, or any other case where there is someone who is in a life threatened situation, his job is to stop and offer the last rites to the person or persons involved, even if it delays him on his important mission, and even if it means that he has no host (communion wafer) to bring with him (although he is actually allowed to break the hosts up and thereby multiply them, so really, that shouldn’t be an issue). They taught me that if the priest is on such an important mission, and that if he sees such a situation involving people on the way, then he needs to accept that as from God’s hand, and minister to the people that are in his path. I’ve often remembered that when I think I have somewhere important to go, or something important to do, and I meet someone with a need. I haven’t always followed that, however.

    Now, If the readers will have patience, I’d like to make comment on a couple more points. One is that JOY, Jesus, Others, and then You, has served me well for many years. I can’t say I consult that little saying when I am faced with decisions, but more that when my life is working in that order, I do have joy. It is easy for me to be quite self centered, and when I am, I am miserable. When I spend time just loving Jesus, and get my focus on Him, I am so much happier, and I feel love for others whom I meet, whether I know them or not. I find myself looking for ways to give folks a little love in their day, whether that means talking to them about how much Father loves them, or just giving a smile as I pass. I really like simply asking the checkout girl or boy or the mail carrier how they are today. They seem so surprised that someone cares.

    When I’ve taken time with the Lord, getting filled up with some love from Him, and then if I can find some folks to share a bit of that love with, it feels so good; much better than if I had set out to make myself happy. That’s how I see the JOY formula, and it seems to work for me. It’s a little related to a quote from you, Wayne, “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” At least in my life, JOY doesn’t mean feeling guilty over having a good time, it’s just that life is so much better when having a good time is not my goal.

    Next point I’d like to touch is the Great Commission. (Of course, we all know that is Mark 16:15, where Jesus told his disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel.) I’d like to suggest that it is for disciples. In Jesus’ day, not everyone who believed on Him was a disciple, and He told His disciples to go and preach the gospel.

    Now there are different levels of discipleship. As Ransom mentioned, Jesus was clear about discipleship, even though He was offering salvation as a free gift. I think we each have to find the level we are prepared and called to serve God on. Some may be called into full time ministry, others may be called to help the dear ones in their lives with some prayer and encouragement.

    When Jesus said to preach the gospel, He wasn’t necessarily saying to start a church building or organization, and He wasn’t ordering them all to stand on a street corner and shout, or any other particular method. But I think that for mature Christians, with a strong connection with Jesus, most of us will want to somehow share the redemption that has worked such miracles in our lives with others. Some are good talkers, some are businessmen, some are talented in such things as medicine, some may be none of those, but if we look to the Lord, I think He will help us to see how we can be used to further His kingdom.

    In thinking about it, I’d like to suggest it is similar in some ways to tithing. Tithing is generally a good thing, but it is not so good if it is forced on us by shame and guilt. The Lord transforms us from the inside out, and as we are transformed more and more, redeemed, regenerated, we want to give back to Him in some way. It may take someone explaining tithing to us, and showing us how it is a reasonable service, but that should not be the same as laying guilt on us. It could be a fine line sometimes, but really those of us whose lives have been touched and saved should really want to give to the Lord in some way of whatever we have. He can lead us in how and to whom to give.

    Some people are not ready for tithing. They may need to get a bit deeper with the Lord, and to grow into the realization of all that the Lord is giving them, and that His promises of care are sure. Most of us know that the Lord’s promises to repay are not a dollars-and-cents deal. But as we get close, try Him out, give, and feel the repayment in our hearts, lives, and even in our physical needs being met, we have more and more faith to trust Him more, and it grows.

    So in summary about the Great Commission, I’d suggest it is for disciples. Unfortunately the churches often at once both hold up a high standard of discipleship for everybody to reach, and at the same time give us the message that only “saints” can do all that, or that “that’s what we pay the preacher for!” Actually, if we just love Jesus, and take the time with Him in His word, in His arms, He’ll lead us into the rest!

  7. By way of an aside, regarding a Great Commission gig referenced by Ransom & Martin – several early manuscripts do not have the section Mark 16:9-20. In addition I once heard someone who was familiar with Greek say that Mark 16:15 can equally mean “as you are going/traveling into all the world …”.

    I know this comment has been somewhat off the main podcast topic but hey, isn’t life full of rodent trails – one day you are walking across the street merrily whistling a tune to yourself (like say Crazy Train) and then you are run over by a cement truck.

  8. The Great Commission I learned as a young child was Mark 16:15. However, it fell out of favor and was replaced by Matthew 28:19-20, probably because the inerrantists in the various denominations had trouble defending Mark 15:16-18 as being “truth, without any mixture of error”. And frankly, they are a denominational train wreck:

    Verse 16 gives the Church of Christ too much ammunition
    Verse 17 gives the Pentecostals too much ammunition
    Verse 18 gives the snake-handlers way too much ammunition…

    A replacement army sounds great, because the troops in the original army are never clear on exactly who the enemy is, and they keep shooting at each other… 😉

  9. A thought that came to me as I was listening to this podcast: Stan’s “replacement army” story isn’t really a metaphor for what God’s doing through the church (to say it is gives too much credence to the “church militant” view of our relationship to the world, I think). Rather, I suspect that it’s exactly the other way around: That what Stan’s seen (and shown us) is an example of man’s stumbling across a principle that God had planned for his church from the beginning, and happening to apply it to a particular secular circumstance.

    I think that we need to be careful not to look into the wrong end of the telescope on this one, lest we come to think that the battle in the spiritual realm really *does* belong to us, that we are “God’s army,” and that the people of the world are “the enemy” that we’re supposed to fight.

    I loved the whole idea of ministering to those who God puts in our path as we walk with him–that seems to me so much more like a Father than the “make things happen,” command-and-control mentality of so much of the ministry programming that goes on.

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