Mar 31, 2024

🎧 LISTEN: Audio and Transcript from Good Friday interview with Hutchinson pastors

Posted Mar 31, 2024 11:03 AM

Editor's Note: Below is the transcript of the interview conducted with Hutchinson area pastors aired on Good Friday, March 29, 2024.

Nick Gosnell: Good morning, joining us this morning, we have several pastors from the Hutchinson area, Matt Stafford from First Congregational, Kent Peterson from Inspire Church, Roy Jaye from First Southern Baptist, John Wolf from Temple Baptist, and Andy Addis from CrossPoint, all with us to talk about the Easter season, Good Friday and Easter, and just to look a little bit introspectively as we go through this springtime season. But Matt, you five guys, you enjoy each other's company, I know that for sure. We've done a little bit before we even started this recording, and we are recording because it's Good Friday, you all are busy. Give us a chance to talk about the agreement here, and there's quite a bit of it.

Matt Stafford: The agreement here is one that we all are in unity with, and that is the resurrection is the central theme in every Christian sermon that you find reported in Acts, and the resurrection as consequences were the gospel, that's the good news that all of our churches preach and teach, and to preach Christianity meant to the apostles primarily to preach the resurrection. So we all gather here today with the unity that we believe in a resurrected living Christ.

Nick Gosnell: I'm going to start with Kent, not just because he's my pastor, full disclosure, but because it's left to right in the room, and that way I don't get lost. So that's what we're going with here. But as the resurrection gives meaning to everything else, Kent, what do you say to somebody who maybe is just learning the story for the first time?

Kent Pedersen: Well, it's honestly hard for me to believe that someone in America is learning the story for the first time, but we are in postmodern, it is not a surprise as well. But for someone that is hearing it for the first time, first of all, I think it's a great advantage in many ways, because we can get to the point that we hear about the resurrection, and that's why we want to keep it before us. It can lose its kind of awe and power that we've heard it for so many times, and we just, we take it for granted. For someone that would have never heard it before, certainly tough to believe. Matt kind of referenced earlier, maybe before, without the resurrection, we have nothing. We're nothing more than, at the end of the day, and the end of our, for lack of a better word, our careers, we're nothing more than motivational speakers that are selling a false hope. So it's all on the resurrection, and it's the power of God, it's the wisdom of God. If you've never heard, I think it's a great, great thing to tell, hard thing to believe.

Nick Gosnell: First Corinthians talks about just, it doesn't matter who you hear as a it matters Christ crucified, where Paul says, I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So Roy, what are you hoping in this Easter season to grow, not only in your congregation, but Hutch generally?

Roy Jaye: Just the interest in the mysterious story of the gospel. There's a reason that scripture talks about faith. Faith is, is trusting in that you can't see and touch, but putting trust and confidence in that, and the object of the Christian faith is Jesus Christ. So that is a great faith. That is the only eternal faith, when you look at scripture and you see that. I pray that God will use us in sparking people's interest. Those, we're surprised, as you pose the question to Kent, there's people in Hutch, the name of Jesus is very new to them. I just want that mysterious part of the gospel, as in the supernatural part, which includes this literal resurrection of this God man, this fully God and fully man, this savior, his body's gone. They never found it. I hope that that is what the Lord uses in drawing people to himself to see the hope. There's more to life than just life. This life is not the end. It's just the beginning.

Nick Gosnell: John Wolf from Temple Baptist. Do you believe that actually believing that there was a real person named Jesus and he really died and he really rose is important?

John Wolf: Yeah, I think it's absolutely critical. It's not just important. It is essential. Yes, there was a real person, multiple accounts. I love the gospel of Luke because at the beginning of the gospel of Luke, he says, I'm writing, he tells us his sources and their primary sources, which you had to be an eyewitness or you had to be involved or he didn't talk to you, and then he says, I'm writing so that you may know for certain. And he was writing to somebody who had heard of all the stories about the Greek gods and he says, this one's different. Because this one, he comes in as fully God, as Roy mentioned, fully God, fully man. I mean, he takes a whole chapter to expound that. And then later talks about the death, burial and resurrection as a friend of mine would say, actual, factual and physical thing that took place. And Luke was trained as a physician. So for him to say, yes, he rose from the dead is absolutely the key. And if we don't have that, if we're saying, well, no, I'm not sure that that's accurate, then where do we go with our flaws? Where do we go with our sin? We have no hope without that.

Nick Gosnell: And so, Andy, talk about the man Jesus for just a second, because fully God and fully man is hard, is a hard concept to come across. But on the cross is one of the areas where where you really do see Jesus' humanity.

Andy Addis: Absolutely. I mean, we call it the incarnation, meaning that he wasn't half God and half man. He was fully God and fully man, the only man to ever walk the face of the earth who was that. C.S. Lewis tells us that the claims that he makes put us in what he called a trilemma, that if Jesus really is who he said he was, if Jesus was to die on the cross and come back from the grave, then he is one of three things. He is Lord, liar or lunatic. He says he's a lunatic on the level of a man who claims he's a poached egg. He's a liar straight out of the depths of hell because he is giving you, like Kent said a moment ago, a false hope, or he is actually Lord. And that means he is worth submitting to. So if he is this God man, when we see him on the cross and we see him suffer, not only did he cry out things like, this is your mother, this is your son. He was setting up welfare between one of his disciples and his mom from the cross. Father, forgive them. They don't know what they do. I mean, that was an incredible statement. But my favorite, one of the gospels says just in a loud voice, he cried. But then in yet another gospel, I believe it's in John, you actually know what he said. He goes, it is finished. And that was the Greek word tetelestai, where he had displayed his brokenness in the not weakness, but his humanness in the garden, sweating drops of blood from the cross. He cried a victory cry and basically said, we have won. The debt is paid and the battle is over.

Nick Gosnell: Good Friday, Easter weekend happening. And so we wanted to give them a chance to talk a little bit about Easter. And we'll start with Matt again, this time...there are those folks, some that have other religion traditions going through the month of Ramadan with Islamic folks and so on that say, yeah, Jesus happened. He was real, but he was just a good teacher like our good teachers are. Where do Christians differ from that?

Matt Stafford: Well, where Christians differ is that if he's just a good teacher, then there's no salvation. There's no Lord. He's basically just somebody that you go to to get advice. And the Christians look at it. Let me just back up and say this. You know, there are a lot of people who say, hey, we're in the land of the living, headed to the land of the dying. But that's just the opposite. We live in the land of the dying, headed to the land of the living. And if anybody needs to be reminded of that, look at the obituaries. The death rate among humans is still 100%. What Jesus did is come and proclaim that I am God, the creator God. I've come because I want a relationship with you. You're my creation and you are lost and I'm going to redeem you. And guess what? It's all because of who I am. It's by grace. Compare that to any other religion. You have to do something to earn it. You must climb the rung. You must make sure you deserve this or you're not quite there. Some say you got to come back, try it again. But we believe that we are fruit from the giver of life. And that is Jesus. So, and to be honest with you, if Jesus is not the savior, if he did not rise from the dead, I'm out.

Nick Gosnell: Back to Kent once again. Kent, you have daughters, I have sons. When you try to communicate this message to the next generation, how do you do it? How do you say to a generation that says, is anything true anymore? We've watched people go through a pandemic and life completely changed. And there's more confusion, depression, mental illness that is at the forefront of life than I can ever remember in my lifetime. But yet we're supposed to have hope? I know it's hard for me to get that across to my boys, and I know that your girls are out of the house now, but how do you get that across?

Kent Pedersen: Well, that's a great question. I'm thinking that, you know, one is what we're all trying to say here is that we're all hanging on to a hope. I mean, we are holding on to hope and we have no hope if there is no resurrection. If there is no real Jesus that is, Andy said, fully God, fully human, we have no hope. And Jesus is the only one of any religion that makes any claim, or we're the ones that make any claim that we actually serve one that was once dead and is alive again. Muhammad, they didn't do that. Buddha, Hindus may come back as something. There's no other claim that their leader, their God is resurrected, that was once dead and is alive again. And again, that we hold our everything on that hope of the resurrected Christ, that 500 witnesses saw him, that all the disciples...the message I'm preaching from on Easter Sunday is going down to Sunday night when they were all still gathered in fear behind closed doors. You know, even though the women had seen him, and even though Peter and John had seen the empty tomb, they were still in fear that night until they saw the resurrected Jesus. And of course, you know, 50 days later, the church exploded in power because they had gone from being cowards to being courageous, not because of what they believed, but for what they saw.

Nick Gosnell: We have the Bible, Roy, to go back to in reference, but we don't have that what they saw component. So again, not to harp on the same thing, but how do we get the reality of the resurrection across to people when you don't have the, well, I know Peter, we went fishing when I was a boy, kind of a way of working of things.

Roy Jaye: We point them towards the little Jesuses that we know. See, there's a lot of little Jesuses in Hutch, they're called born again Christians, and God's spirit is alive in them. And so we point them towards those people who were blind, but now they see. We point them towards those people who were lost and they were seeking, but now they're found. And everyone who is around them sees and realizes, wait a minute, this is more than a relationship with a church or denomination. He is transformed. She is transformed. And that's a huge part of it, Nick, is we don't use testimonies, and Andy's one of the strongest storytellers around, and he reminds me the power of stories. We need to be sure children hear stories of transformation, not only from books, but from people's mouths. And the evidence that Christ is alive is He's alive in me. He's alive in you, and I praise Him.

Nick Gosnell: Well, that brings me back to the lyrics of the old hymn, I serve a risen Savior. He's in the world today.

I know that He is living, whatever men may say. I see His hand of mercy. I hear His voice of cheer, and just the time I need Him, He's always near.

He lives, He lives. Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way. He lives, He lives, salvation to impart. You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.

Nick Gosnell: Roy Jaye from First Southern Baptist, Kent Peterson from Inspire Church, Matt Stafford from First Congregational, John Wolf from Temple Baptist, and Andy Addis from Crosspoint talking about Easter, John, what does it mean to make Jesus Lord of your life? That's a churchy phrase. Put it into English for us.

John Wolf: You're right, and I try to not use churchy language, but very simply, it means I have to remove myself as being in charge of my own life. When I think I'm the captain of my ship, when I think I'm in charge of my destiny, I make myself God of my life. And so for Jesus to be Lord means, Andy used the word submit, I prefer the word surrender. I'm going to surrender not just my thoughts, but my agenda, my preferences, my schedule, which frequently does not go the way I planned, etc. Surrender all that, even the things good and the things that I interpret as not so good coming to me, I surrender them to Him and His will and what He wants to do with them in my life. It is a complete and total saying, you're in charge and I'll do whatever you need me to do.

Nick Gosnell: Andy, how can you surrender to somebody who allows, pick your catastrophe? Sandy Hook, Uvalde, the crisis at the southern border humanitarian-wise, Gaza, walk through the news cycle over the last several years, how can you call a God Lord who lets all that happen?

Andy Addis: Well, first of all, you have to understand that humanity as a part of creation is going to serve. Let's go to the old prophet Bob Dylan. It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you're going to have to serve somebody. And that's, you see that in Romans 6, you're either a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness. But what you're asking is the philosophical problem of the problem of good and evil. And to answer that, how do you serve a God who makes all this stuff happen? Well, first of all, that's an assumption. He didn't make any of this happen. That every cancer, every death, every time you've cried into the pillow at night because your heart was broken, every time you've been stabbed in the back, it's because of humanity turning away from God and not what God has done to them. The Garden of Eden was the beginning of the mess that we lived in perfection. Think about this. They were naked, knew no shame. All they had to do was pick fruit, eat, be fruitful and multiply. There were no taxes. Can I get an amen? So everything was perfect. With disobedience came sin and with sin came death. And all of that pain is death. So when you say, how can you serve a God who, you know, the question is, why don't we run to a God who will save us from, the reality is that when you say that these things exist and you blame God, the only reason he's blameable is that he gave us free will and that we got to choose. But if we didn't get to choose, you say, if God knew that that was our choice, then why didn't he save us from that? Well, then there would never be a relationship. We would never truly love him nor hate him. We would never choose good nor evil. We'd be robots, instinctual creatures. But God took the risk because he wanted one creature that would love him back as much as he loved them. And we have suffered the consequences of choosing poorly, but we can't blame God for those things, yet we should run to him in the midst of them.

Nick Gosnell: Andy got the hard question and I freely admit that. But that's where, when there are tragedies that happen, whether they're way out somewhere else where we don't know where they're at or whether they're right on our doorstep, because it's your child that has the cancer diagnosis, or it's your parent that is in a terrible accident, or it's your whatever, whatever person you're closest to, all of a sudden something happens and their life changes completely. I'll go to Kent for this one, but there is comfort in knowing that we're not in charge of it, isn't there?

Kent Pedersen: There is a comfort in that God is sovereign and that we're not God because it's way beyond our scope. His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are greater than our thoughts. I know that can sound churchish or a little trite, but the reality is so many of these things we're talking about here is way above my pay grade. And if we spend our time in those areas of trying to understand that, I think we'll lose out on the hope of the future that God has for us. He came to redeem and restore what was lost and was broken. And even in death, as Psalm 23 says, we are in a fear no evil for God is with us if we hold on to the hope of that relationship that he died for us. He paid the penalty for our sin. He rose again. And because of that, yes, this life has its heart hurts and heartaches and brokenness. But there is a day that God is going to set things all straight, make all things right. And he's going to restore us to that paradise, that Eden that was at the beginning. He's working towards that end for all of us, if we will believe.

Nick Gosnell: Well, it's wonderful to have an us. But Matt, in this business, we're always told to talk to one person and that you always have a conversation between you and the one person over there listening on the radio, because only their set of there may be a thousand sets of ears listening, but only one at a time. That's what a relationship with Jesus is about, isn't it? It's about it's about you. I mean, I'm using the word you generally to mean the person on the other end of this conversation we're having on the radio, you individually and God, not you and grandma who loved Jesus very much or you and your wife or husband who is a wonderful Christian or you and your kids who keep dragging you to church because they love Sunday School. It's about you and Jesus, isn't it?

Matt Stafford: I would say 100 percent that to begin with, but I believe he's created the church to be a community for us to gather together as the body of Christ so that we know we can lean on each other. You know, hope has been mentioned here. Well, hope has a name and the name is Jesus. Jesus prayed in the garden right before the crucifixion. He prayed for his disciples. He goes, they're not in the world. They're not of the world, but they're in the world. And then he prayed. I pray for those who will believe, which means he had a relationship with us before we were born. I'm praying for those who will believe. And then on the cross, he's challenged by one of those on each side of him saying, if you are who you say you are, change my circumstances. Jesus doesn't even answer that person. Why? Because he did not come to save the physical. He cannot save the corrupted. But the one who says, remember me, he said, today, you will be with me in paradise, which means what? Not your, not your body. We have to remember that we do not have a soul. We are a soul. And so that that person out there right now who's listening to this says, I have nowhere else left to turn. Jesus has got you to that position so that you can look to him and say, my name is hope. And I can change you from the inside out, I may not change your circumstances, but I will help you through them. I will get you through them. The next church you drive by, you might want to just go in there and say, I've come here to find Jesus.

Nick Gosnell: I just want to give everybody a chance to talk about their their Easter and Holy Week services. So what's happening when, we'll start with Roy.

Roy Jaye: On Easter Sunday, 6:45 a.m. sunrise service. Again, weather will dictate we're planning on being outside, breakfast following after that. And then our regular 10:45 service on Easter Sunday, on Resurrection Sunday. And we have free family portraits for all guests. We have a beautiful backdrop all ready for Easter 2024 and guests will receive free family portraits. And so love to see you there on Sunday.

Nick Gosnell: All right, John?

John Wolf: On Easter Sunday at 1030, as it will be our main resurrection service, we're going to begin the celebration by baptizing some folks who have just recently found Jesus. I can't think of a better way. And we'll also celebrate the way he taught us to by the sacrament he gave us. And we'll do that at 10:30 on Easter Sunday morning and and just relish in the thought of being together with family.

Nick Gosnell: All right, Andy?

Andy Addis: We have a number of locations across the state. So if you're not in Hutchinson, if you go to, you can look up your city where we have Crosspoint Church. But in Hutch on Good Friday, we'll have two Good Friday services at 5 and 7 p.m. And then on Easter weekend, we have five services, two on Saturday at 5 and 7 p.m. and three on Sunday at 7:30, 9 and 11.

Nick Gosnell: All right, Kent, at Inspire Church?

Kent Pedersen: Thank you, Andy, for that. You can go to and get all our information on everything going on at Inspire Church. But our Good Friday service is 6:30 on Friday night. And we have two services, Resurrection Sunday, 9:30 and 10:45. And as John is doing, we're looking forward to having baptisms as well. Celebrate Resurrection Day. All right, Sands, First Congregational, Matt. Yes, thank you. We're very traditional in our normal Easter service. And you can go to to find out more information.

Nick Gosnell: All right, we still have two, maybe three minutes left, which I'm hoping is enough for Matt. But really, I wanted to step back for just a second and say to that person on the other side of the radio, if they are ready to make a decision to make this Easter the first Easter that they're a Christian. I had the privilege, when my son was 10 years old, Easter morning is when he came to know Jesus for the very first time. And that was really fun, my oldest. And so if somebody says, you know what, it's all falling into place for me now. I understand what you're saying, and I believe what the Bible says. How can they do that? And how would you suggest?

Matt Stafford: Well, as Scripture tells us, whosoever shall call upon in the name of the Lord shall be saved. And I would encourage them to just kneel down or sit down wherever they are right now and just call out to Christ. I mean, whoever calls out to him will not be turned away, not at all. And then find a good church home in Hutchinson, because we have a lot of them. This is just a small representation of all the pastors and churches we are aware with. And I want to just speak also to those out there who may have not been going to church for a long time. And I want you to know how much Jesus loves you. And as a follower of Jesus, it's not tied to your ability to meet his expectations. And there is no such thing as a lost cause when there's grace.

Nick Gosnell: Well, gentlemen, thank you so much for your time. This is just a wonderful opportunity for people. And what they also need to understand is there's no minimum here. There's no maximum here. Everybody comes to the cross at the same place. Whether you feel like, hey, I'm a pretty good guy. I've done life right. Or boy, I haven't. In case we have any of the listeners even up to and including inside the prison here in Hutchinson, if they happen to have their radio on this morning. From one end of the spectrum to the other in human terms, it doesn't matter. There's no difference between the one and the other. They all have that shortcoming between their standard and God's standard. And Jesus is the only way to bridge the gap, isn't it, Matt?

Matt Stafford: Exactly right. That you go to any of our churches, all these men who've spoken today, they're going to tell you the same thing. All are sinning and coming short of the glory of God. And it's only through Christ's work and grace that gives you a chance, gives you a chance to say, I need to get this burden removed from me. And go to these churches, go to their websites, look them up. I mean, if you want to go see a baptism, go to Inspire and go to Temple coming Easter Sunday, and you'll see what that is a testimony. Okay, there's no righteous work in that. It's a testimony that I was dirty and now I'm clean because of Jesus Christ. And it's also a testimony, I believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. So I think people out there know you either got Christ in your heart or you don't. But he's always calling out, come unto to me and I will give you rest.

Our thanks to pastors Roy Jaye, Kent Pedersen, John Wolfe, Andy Addis, and Matt Stafford for joining us and to you for listening as well. Happy Easter, everyone.

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