No, Actually, I’m Not That Guy

Recently, I was asked to co-moderate a city council candidate debate. The organizers felt that my current role as a pastor in downtown Green Bay, combined with my previous experience as a talk show host would be a good fit. Wanting to focus on the former and not the latter, I agreed to participate. Shortly after the debate was promoted, someone posted on Facebook, objecting to my involvement. Referring to my years on the radio, he began with, “isn’t this the same Jerry Bader who…?” I responded to him no, it isn’t.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV).

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Romans 6:6-7 (NIV).

The Jerry who was bombastic for a living, who always had to be right, who berated callers, called people names, (and made a very good living doing it) is gone. The guy who wanted a bigger radio show, bigger house, etc., no longer exists. He died on September 4th, 2016, the day I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. This is an impossible concept for unbelievers to understand. It’s a matter of vertical vs. horizontal. 

Before my conversion, my view was always horizontal, of this world. And I was at the center of that world. I did what I did because I wanted to what I wanted. This is the nature of sin into which we’re all born. It is what Jesus came to defeat, and He did. I am forgiven, I am free. This doesn’t mean I’m perfect. It means I desire to glance at the horizontal (the world) and gaze vertically (at God). It means I am no longer a slave to sin. Sometimes I get God amnesia and I worry about things. When I do, I can ask His forgiveness and I know I’m forgiven. 

I desire to love people the way Jesus loves them. Again, I’m not perfect at this, but it is my desire to be more like Jesus every day. To the unbeliever, this sounds like sheer lunacy. Some people who didn’t care for my radio show will never accept that my change is real. I’ve been blessed that many people have. That includes someone I treated particularly viciously on the air. She has become a dear friend.

What about you? Are you tired of gazing horizontally? Has seeking happiness in more money, more friends, more of the world left you feeling emptier and emptier? Dying to Christ can sound downright terrifying. You may believe the price is just too high. Well, it is a steep price: you promise to surrender your entire life to Him. But the peace you receive in return is a reward beyond human understanding. It can’t be explained, only experienced. If you haven’t already, I pray that you accept Christ and the new you soon. If you have, let Jesus shine through you! Having Him use you to transform others is, in my opinion, the greatest blessing of all!

1 Comment
  • Misti Rose Rosa
    Posted at 21:37h, 09 October Reply

    I LOVE to hear your testimony!!!
    When you say that we are loved as soon as we walk in the door-That was and Is your Truth!! I am a witness and Blessed to have you as my Pastor.
    Peace And Love

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