Harrison on the Wretched Network? It’s Not what You Think – Check It Out, by Pr. Rossow

Here is an interesting video that came our way via LCMS Rev. John Day from Houston, Texas who found it on the web. It is from the Wretched Network. Here is how the Wretched Network is described in a press release on the NRB Network. Apparently this little show has been recently added to thier network.

Wretched with Todd Friel comes to the NRB Network

Late night viewers will soon tune in to find a new program that will both challenge their thinking and bring them levity.  Wretched, a nightly variety show hosted by Todd Friel, makes its NRB Network debut on Monday, October 19 at 11:30 pm ET.

Taking its name from the first stanza of the classic hymn “Amazing Grace”, Wretched approaches a wide array of Christian topics with truth and humor.  Best described as “a dollop of sarcasm mix[ed] in with conservative theology”, the show is sure to become an instant favorite with NRB Network viewers.

Host, Todd Friel, is a former stand-up comedian and longtime radio personality who refers to himself as the “chief of wretches”.  While studying to become a pastor, Todd came to a point of reckoning with his salvation.  The experience left him with a passion for the truth of God’s Word which, when combined with his wit, makes Wretched a program like no other.

Viewers will not want to miss this highly entertaining and thought-provoking show.  Wretched airs each weeknight at 11:30 pm ET starting Monday, October 19th on NRB Network.

The video is a little unusual in style but the message is right on. Take a look…

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


Harrison on the Wretched Network? It’s Not what You Think – Check It Out, by Pr. Rossow — 37 Comments

  1. Yes. And I suppose this will be cable. Don’t do cable. 🙁

    That’s alright. Don’t do 10:30 P.M. ordinarily either. (Fridays, yes.) 🙂

  2. Don’t know if I’ll catch this show, either, but YouTube helps alleviate the timeslot and cable issues.

    I was thinking, after trying first to understand who that nut-job rapper was and then trying desperately to erradicate his image from my mind, that the show could have used one of those big Monty Python stomping feet to conclude the segment…

    And now for something completely different…

  3. It will reach a certain segment of people who need that energy and silliness added to the mix, but so far it sounds like he is letting President Harrison speak for himself. Todd seems to recognize that our next Synodical President’s humility is genuine.

  4. It doesn’t surprise me that Todd would highlight Harrison. His producer is Lutheran and he’s been somewhat following the issues in the LCMS. Also interviewed Mollie after Issues Etc was cancelled.

    As for Ed, well…..as time goes on I suspect more and more that he’s really lost it.

  5. Huh. So, rapping my next sermon would be considered “Yang.” Interesting. Perhaps I should rethink my plan.

  6. I did not find it funny, But I thought he made the point that it’s not about entertainment. I thought it was pretty clear too. Well I think I smiled.

  7. I think I am lucky that I have never heard of this Ed Young feller. Who is he? He doesn’t claim to be a Lutheran does he?

  8. Is that video of Harrison in the public domain?

    I don’t think that being put in the same film with this “character” (“good” Lutheran words deleted) is a compliment to Matt, whatever the guy who did it thought he was doing.

  9. Guess I am really out of it. I didn’t smile, just wondered – what is the point here? Watching this really was a waste of my time.

  10. It really does look like our churches….one is traditional and the other is culture driven….the message, if I am to believe what I have been told, is the same it is just presented in diverse styles but there is unity.

  11. @helen #14
    Marcy, I forgot to say that “unity” was the pre convention line.
    Now we’re back to being divided….and it’s all some pastors’ fault.
    [Not the ones who put “us1st”, of course.]

  12. Is this surprising, not so much. I found Wretched, prior to BJS. Todd, whom I love in approach & delivery, is somewhat, an aquired taste. I’m sure this wasn’t missed, on anyone’s part at Wretched. His the Rush or Mark Belling, of theologically-now/socially-relevant, but heterodox. Telling AV, thanks for the posting.

  13. @Dutch #17

    If you’ll point me to a few more samples, I’ll try to “acquire” him. 🙂

    (I looked at it again, for the pleasure of listening to Matt Harrison, and decided the Emcee was pretty good (Todd?). It was that maniac opposite Matt that nauseated me. 🙁

  14. It is important to keep in mind that this style appeals to the “digital generation” and if in fact 50-60 year olds loved this video, it would be missing the mark and the target demographic.

  15. Pastor McCain — I don’t understand your comment.

    The video appears to be contrasting historic Christianity with “make em feel good” / “let us entertain them” method .. where he ends with “do you want this (preaching the Word) or do you want to see me?”.

    If you are talking about this Ed Young, frankly given that I fit into your “50-60” demographic; while I have heard of him I haven’t seen anything that he’s done .. I do like Todd’s presentation and his pretty clear point.

  16. Norm, what I mean is that if 50-60s are “turned off” by the video presentation style of Wretched Network, with its quick edits, music, etc. that’s a good sign it is spot-on effective for the demographic they are trying to reach.

    I loved the video, thought it was great, and am pleased they featured Pastor Harrison’s well considered, Gospel-centered remarks, in contrast to the knucklehead.

    Does that clear up your confusion/question?

  17. How about us 70’s and up? I find that this video trivializes Harrison’s message. Next thing you know this kind of stuff will find its way into the worship service–I shudder to think of it. I could not possibly handle an ADHD-inducing “worship” service.

    Sorry–give me my theology straight, just like my scotch.


  18. johannes :
    How about us 70?s and up? I find that this video trivializes Harrison’s message. Next thing you know this kind of stuff will find its way into the worship service–I shudder to think of it. I could not possibly handle an ADHD-inducing “worship” service.
    Sorry–give me my theology straight, just like my scotch.

    This got me thinking; alcohol as theology. This may go off the rails, but I will try to keep it on the tracks. I was thinking about it on the way home alcohol as theology. I will use whiskey as the beverage of choice. I like my whiskey neat with no frills. My wife likes her whiskey with a little coke to make it interesting. My Dad likes his whiskey sour to be combative, my Mom likes her whiskey on the rocks to quench her thirst.

    The analogy falls apart in terms of dilution so forgive this part.

    If the theology like the whiskey is intact then how it is presented does not really matter. If the whiskey is substituted for something else, say non-alcoholic whiskey (yes it does exist) then the essence of the drink is lost. If the whiskey is substituted with rum, new drinks are created and the essence would be lost.

    Just a thought on the issue. I am glad I am Lutheran 🙂

  19. Folks, we have to remember, that Wretched is more like “talk radio” rather than the video posted. It is like, Extreme Theology, that you can watch. It is the “theological/heterodox in the news or the now of the day or week”.
    Think of Wretched, like O’Reilly, Hannity, or Belling. It is an aquired taste. It’s like Monty Python. Ya either like it & get it, or ya don’t & ya won’t. Those who do, love it, those who don’t, don’t get “it” or those who do get “it”. There is alot more to Wretched & Todd F. than the video link above.

  20. Johannes,
    You are too funny. When one partakes a bit of a nip, it depends on the subject. Some, for some, need an additive (soda, juice etc) not for interest, but for dilution. Why? Because, when those who have the dilution requirement, should that person forget themselves, they forget alot!!!! If one forgets themselves & the things they say & do, because of the dilution factor….that doesn’t mean others will ever forget it….nor will they allow you to!!!!
    lol!!!! Great analogy though, just considering variables.

  21. Helen #18,
    I didn’t mean to forget you!!!!
    Just look at the site, and do a paruse (?) through, and take a watch. I think, after a bit of examples of past shows, you may like it.
    Enjoy & post afterwards. I rather curious. I have to choose, most days, betwixt, BJS & Wretched. I’ll give ya one guess, which one has consistancy of winning the given day.

  22. @Marcy #13
    Marcy–go to Ed’s website. Some stuff on the “what we believe” page that looks decent at first glance–looks pretty orthodox. But where else do you see anything that has to do with that? It’s an all-too-familiar thing: Ok, here’s our doctrine, you old-fashioned doctrine-sticklers can see we are orthodox, now we can get to the fun stuff that we *really* want to do (in Ed’s case, apparently) because it’s what *really* brings in the bucks.

    On a side note: Jim Claybourn–thanks for the link. Okay, so he pays for all the personal stuff himself, not out of the “ministry” funds. So what? The money still all comes from teh same place, right? The folks’ in the theater seats wallets. Quite a salary if he can pony up 2 mill in 3 years just for the airplane costs.

  23. @Dutch #29
    Just look at the site, and do a paruse (?) through, and take a watch.

    I looked, but at “Live from 3-5” it’s in direct conflict with Issues, Etc. (which is probably what you meant?) [We may listen to whatever we want while we’re working, but we can’t add i-tunes to the machinery!] Two hours of i-tunes at home would conflict with BJS!

  24. Hi Everyone,

    It is a TV show. I watch it. He is not Lutheran, but he doesn’t pull any punches. He just did one on Muslims. Remember He is not trying to be church, he is doing a tv show.

    If you want to see how I used it on my confirmation blog, go here:


    The youngins and digitally driven, eat this stuff up.


  25. @Mark Sell #32
    Good article. I like the way you explained confirmation, and yes, I can imagine you can use the video to contrast Lutheranism with (as Todd says, “silliness”).
    (I hope they will listen to Harrison’s serious statements and not be waiting for the next “silliness”.) 🙂

    But they have you to point up the difference.

  26. @Helen #33
    Hi Helen,

    Thanks. I tend to be quite animated outside of the church service. I always thank God for the liturgical context which keeps ME under control. 🙂

    Well, kids are always waiting for the next silliness. So, I co-opt it in the right place and contrast.

    I attended my first Higher Things conference and I love their “let fun be fun and let church be church.”


  27. “HT for a Day” was a great experience for a visiting adult!
    (I couldn’t keep up for a whole session.)

  28. i watched “Wretched” once or twice, but what I find telling is how WDJD has adopted a Markian view of Scripture. Someone above quoted that you need to be Berean and reference Scripture to validate a ‘teaching’, but I would caution that “interpretation of Scripture” is biased by personal history and experiences. So, you need to context interpretations within millenia of inspired reasoning as a precedent of views. Without a precedent, you have chaos.

    The show was ‘cancelled’ off one local station after he attacked several “new generation” pastors striving to reach younger crowds and that set of folks bored and annoyed with traditional settings. The attacks were based on 5 minutes out of 30-minute segments taped and aired out of an hour service.

    In other shows, most of Friel’s arguments are ‘strawman’ logical fallacies with snippets of targets actual shows or lectures twisted and contorted to fit the WDJD’s agenda.

    Bottomline, after these attacks on your local church or views, Friel doesn’t offer an alternative. So, is this a ministry or a “pep rally” for his regular audience on Sirius?

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