The following is my comment on the question of whether we should observe real change in the lives of a Christian. This discussion on the blog, ‘Confessing Evangelical’ is from another discussion on his blog and others, concerning a so-called ‘Jesus shaped spirituality’:
“When someone is in Christ, their lives will change.
Will they all change in the same ways? Of course not. Or to the same degree? Of course not.
Is it for us to judge what is real change and what is not? Of course not.
“He who began a good work in you will bring it to completetion.” – St. Paul
It doesn’t even say there, that we will even co-operate.
Who knows the heart?
Could a person who is in church twice on Sunday and in every bible study and works at the soup kitchen and visits the elderly sick and dying, not even really be a Christian? Sure. We don’t know who the Christians are. We do know who the baptised are, and those that profess Christ.
The trouble here is one of focus. This Jesus shaped spirituality stuff puts the focus exactly where it does not belong…on us.
One starts to look at himself in light of the other and the other’s performance (or lack thereof) in comparison to some standards of behavior that Jesus modeled. What a waste of time. It is not even necessary.
We are free in Christ. Free to live. Free to love others and help them…or not!
The heroin addict dying in the alley might have a much stronger faith in Christ than the preacher in the pulpit.
I say proclaim God’s strong, uncompromising law…and then hand over His gift of forgiveness…freely…with no strings attached.
This emphasis on performance is ridiculous. People are being led astray from Christ..right into the arms of Moses…and the law!
What a huge waste of time and energy.
Thanks for the opportunity. “
I have been accused by some (one ‘post-Evangelical’ in particular) of being a “hyper-Lutheran. If that means one who defends Christ and His work for us, against those that promote a performance based ‘hyper-religiosity’…then I would be honored to be known as a “hyper-Lutheran”.
– Steve Martin A Lutheran who’s spirituality is shaped by Jesus in His Word and sacraments…alone!
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