Gospel Treason Betraying the Gospel With Hidden Idols | Brad Bigney
I had the pleasure of hearing Brad Bigney speak in person last fall. He uses humor and directness to cut to the heart of the matter. He engages you with personal stories of sin and failure and takes you along the journey of how he discovered his need for prioritizing Jesus. This book is about the very subtle and deceptive ways we lead ourselves astray and act treasonously toward our God.
WHY THE BOOK IS GOOD
Whenever I hear a preacher get personal with their sin, I find it more easy to accept the difficult truths they have to share. In this book, Bigney gets personal. He gets real.
Brad talks about how he idolized his ministry. He would dive deeply into serving anywhere and at anytime so that people would say that he's a good pastor. He sought their praise by spending his free time to visit people in hospitals and go to special events. This sounds noble, but in making serving the priority of his life, he neglected his devotion to God. He became disheartened, discontent, and unsatisfied. In his desire to put his actions on a pedestal for all to worship, he found his marriage broken and noticed his anger would flare up for seemingly no reason.
At first he didn't know what it was that caused his frustration. Whenever a curve ball came his way or anything reflected poorly on his ministry, his attitude would instantly change. He would exude anger. As he worked through his issues with a biblical counselor, he found the simple truth that God doesn't grant happiness to those who are perfecting their idols. God grants happiness to those who seek Him.
This book cuts to the heart and shows us how to seek out and uproot our idols so that our hearts can properly seek God as the priority of our lives.
WHY THE BOOK IS GOOD FOR MARRIAGE
When we recognize that we’re the biggest problem in our marriages, it prompts us to find a solution that fixes us. The task is often challenging. Where have I sinned? What have I done that has so injured my spouse to cause them to respond to me in the way they do?
Gospel Treason explores what our secret motives might be. Do we seek peace in the household and get angry when are kids upset that? Do we seek approval and get upset when our spouse or kids don’t give us the respect and attention we feel we deserve? Whatever it may be, Gospel Treason will help you get to the root of your own heart. Once you’ve begun to dig it out, you will be better prepared to serve your spouse in the sacrificial and humble way Jesus served us when he washed our feet and laid his life down on our behalf.
This book is especially good for marriage because Brad puts his own marriage on display and shows how his idolatry caused their marriage to become a burden... to be become full of open conflict. As he relates his story, you’ll find things you can relate to and you’ll see your own sins on display. I have a friend who recently read this book and his comment on it is that this book is better than any marriage book. He wishes he had been given this as part of his premarital counseling as it would have helped put him in the right place for his marriage. When I read it, I couldn’t help but agree that this book is amazing for any Christian, but it’s perfect for a married one.
HOW TO READ/LISTEN TO IT
First of all, I know that most men don’t like reading. It’s just too boring. Men want action, they want to do something. There’s an old adage that says women like to talk, men like to fix. While it’s not wholly true, there is truth in it. Men want to do things, and sitting around reading a book sounds like the definition of boredom to them.
If you don't like reading, Brad Bigney preached through this series at his church. You can listen to his sermon series at his website: here. Listen to the nine part series over a series of dates with your spouse. Connect with them like you did before you got married. Talk about the things you agree with, and debate the issues you disagree on. Be open to the change God is working in your life. Seek to understand where your spouse is at, while you work on how to grow and change your own heart.
If you do read the book, consider going through the study guide that Brad made. It’s full of questions to consider before and after reading each chapter. It’ll help you wrestle with the text in your own mind and heart. It’ll help you see what you believe now, and how you need to change. Discuss your answers with your spouse or life group so that you can bare your soul and gain insight into things you might have glossed over.