It bores me to tears…

Law preaching.

It just bores me to tears if it’s done with the intention of m aking me a better person, or a better Christian, or a better shoe salesman or…whatever. Not that I couldn’t be a better shoe salesman (if I were in that line of work).

They say that the best way to get an Irishman not to do something is to tell him that he has to do it. That’s me. (I am half Irish you know)

I think it is that way with the law when it is used as a prod to get us to move. Oh we might move alright…but our hearts won’t be in it.   St. Paul tells us that when the law came in, sin increased!    Maybe he was talking about the other guy.   “Oh, he was just talking about the Jews…not us Christians who are now on a path to greater and greater glory. Greater obedience… and sinning less and less all the time.”  ” Get out of my way… I am climbing up to heaven and working the principles!”

Some people say to me, “well…I need the law to know what I ought to be doing.”

I don’t buy it.  The law is written upon our hearts. I know what to do, I just refuse to do it. And the plain truth of the matter is that you just refuse to do it too. (Now that’s the kind of law preaching that is NOT boring!)

I ran into a couple of Mormon missionaries this afternoon, and it was the same old, tired, boring drill about the need for us to be obedient. To be quite fair about it, I often get the same manure flung at me from Christian Evangelicals and Roman Catholics (even the occasional Lutheran – Brother Martin cover your ears!).

Always the same baloney “Yeah but” etc. etc. ”  “What about James…yada, yada, yada.” “But you just can’t, wah wah wah wah waaaah.”

So these young Mormon kids set out to school me on Christianity and I said….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Someone wake me when the law fest is over, pleazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz …

“Now take your book of Mormon and your Bible, that you don’t understand, and try your act on somebody a little more gullible and less free. And I’ll be praying the whole time that you are unsuccessful in leading that person to hell.

7 Responses

  1. Brother Steve,

    I’m hearing EVERY word you are saying. I mean really really really HEARING you on this. It just makes me feel tired all over to hear that disguised “work your way to heaven though we confess with our mouths faith alone” third use – false sanctification – ‘yea but’ crap. They don’t understand THAT is what James is speaking against, the very way they are using him!

    James in summary: “You confess faith alone (good protestant that you are) but indicatively, denoted, symptomatically your “good works” display unbelief and not faith alone. Because you think you’re doing good works to prove your faith is real it’s not faith alone and by the way, ergo, no good works at all even if they are outwardly “good” appearing. Your faith is false faith – you are inwardly turned calling it faith. But indicatively, denoted, symptomatically mine is faith alone because I don’t behold my works nor seek them to prove my faith. Faith alone indicatives, denotes, and displays itself as naked passive suffering faith alone and faith that is really unbelief busy proving itself by works and so called sanctification too indicates, denotes and displays itself.” Because James clearly lays down the wrong principle of falling back under the “law” and calling it “faith alone”.

    “The law is written upon our hearts.” You just hit the nail in the coffin on the so called third use of the Law. The so called third use of the law creates more Pharisees and “I’m doing so good” Christians it’s sickening. I put it this way to my wife, “If you are going to do a good work for my need and underneath it is to help you prove your faith or sanctification, please, stop, don’t do me any favors and I don’t want to be the cause of your mortal sin.” It’s like cheap commercialism that pretends to be your friend, of course if you give them money for their “altruistic services”. In the case of false sanctification and so called third use its not cash cabbage they seek for their “services” but sanctification bucks. One can always tell when a believer is truly enamored with the Cross and it is truly faith alone, their works toward you are frankly honest and earthy, conversely one can tell a sanctification/prove your faith vacuum a mile away. It’s sort of the way Hollywood goes over to Africa to “help them out”, but they are really doing it to just feel good about themselves (the real work of the fallen heart and its sin).

    “I ran into a couple of Mormon missionaries this afternoon, and it was the same old, tired, boring drill about the need for us to be obedient. To be quite fair about it, I often get the same manure flung at me from Christian Evangelicals and Roman Catholics (even the occasional Lutheran – Brother Martin cover your ears!).

    Always the same baloney “Yeah but” etc. etc. “ “What about James…yada, yada, yada.” “But you just can’t, wah wah wah wah waaaah.””

    I use to do some “evangelism” with Mormons, got to meet a lot of the ex-mormon convert heavy hitters in Utah. I found it very interesting that what they were saying on the street, Mormons, and what I was hearing in the SB, then later Reformed and unfortunately to my shock out of the mouth of some Lutherans (though much fewer) was the same exact thing. We’d get in these “witness battles” back in my SB days with Mormons, and they’d pull James out like a gun. It really stumped most of us because they’d explain it the EXACT way we’d explain that text concerning works. So, they’d Jose Wells you with James. We even had deacons, DEACONS for goodness sake, come back from Salt Lake saying, “They (mormons) are just like us in what they believe”. Looking back on it, I’d have to agree…and that’s not a compliment.

    It’s probably better to point out that it is not so much overt “law preaching”, which does happen, but the “gospel serves the law” preaching. Because they will always caveat their sermon with “you are not saved by your works ever….BUUUUUT……”. That way it doesn’t sound like Law/works preaching. The protestant version of “faith formed by love”. Then the same tired old confused crap comes. You just know they are going to read you the fine print on their “gospel” then.

    They really don’t want good works because if they did they’d believe the Gospel’s power and leave it at that. It’s kind of like my children, I tell them I forgive them and they go off joyfully and clean their room because they are happy not because I’m the law or the guide of the law.

    I often wonder what these law preachers would have preached to the man on the Cross next to Jesus since no man knows his last hour.



  2. Jon,

    Thank you my friend. I left a lengthy comment ,there (the link) on your site.

    An excellent post! Good work!

  3. Larry,

    Good to find someone who knows exactly how I feel!

    Motivations, intentions, and what the law ACTUALLY DOES to people are key here.

    The Word ACTUALLY DOES something to us. Unless we are to believe that all this depends on us (which of course many do believe)

    Un-selfconsciencely(sp?) acting for the other. Only the Holy Spirit can do that, the law can’t do that. The law is a drop of poison in the glass. Poison does not make us better…it kills us or makes us very sick.

    But I don’t blame these folks , Larry…it’s all they know. Thay have been fed cow dung as a main course for so long that now they actually like it and it tastes good to them. So now they want to share it with us! They want us to eat it too! No way, Jose…not me. I’ll just (the Lord will, actually) keep offering them a real meal, a healthy meal, one that will actually give life back to them…and every once in awhile someone will eat this ‘true Bread’ and live.

    Thanks, Larry!

  4. Good post, Steve.

    In 30+ years of pastoral ministry I have yet to find anyone whose insistence on holding up their end of the bargain (with regard to keeping the law) has not led to either pride or despair. The former are almost hopeless. The latter can actually hear the gospel!

  5. Pastor,

    Self-righteousness , phoniness, or despair.
    If anything can be done about it…it is He and His Word that will do it. But it does get tedious when we are surrounded by this stuff.

    If anyone knows of which I speak, it is you.

    Thanks, Pastor.

  6. Mr. Anderson … Good to meet you.


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