Just a quick question…

Pride by Bryce Fields

 

…for all those Christians who are constantly prodding people to be better Christians by living up to God’s law (citing whatever law verses from the Bible they happen to be using that day – there’s plenty of them)…

anyway…

 

here’s the question…

‘How are you’ doing, when it comes to whatever it is you are telling people that they should be doing a better job of doing?’

 

Hmmm?

 

I’m not kidding.  I really want to know.  I want you to look honestly at yourself and answer that question.  

Go ahead, if you’ve got the guts to.

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Thanks to flickr and Bryce Fields for the photo.

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30 Responses

  1. Don’t misunderstand me.

    The Law has it’s purposes in our lives. But making us better Christians isn’t one of them.

  2. This question relates directly to a couple of question I posed to my bible study leader (baptist church elder) just last night. His correct answers were very telling. We were studying Matthew 25 with the sheep and the goats, and the theme that “we will be judged on the basis of what we do” Specifically, loving the brethren. So I asked him:

    I’m assuming that you believe that you are saved and destined for heaven. I’m also assuming that as you consider what you do for Christ, you are not frozen in fear, or even overly concerned about any notion of not meeting the qualifications for eternal life with the savior.

    Question: Are these assumptions correct?

    His answer: Yes.

    Question: Again considering your own life, do you believe that there exists a class of people who do a better job of loving the brethren than you do, and yet are going to spend eternity separated from a savior?

    His answer: Yes.

    Question: How then can you say that a person who “does” better than you will be judged according to his deeds, and that judgment will be hell for him, and heaven for you?

    His answer: Good point.

  3. Stephen T.,

    That ‘s not a “good point”…

    it’s a GREAT point!

    Thanks for sharing with us, and thanks for standing up for gospel of Jesus Christ .

    – Steve M.

  4. I’ve written a few times on my blog about how lists of should be’s – as in things a Christian should be doing since they are a Christian – are actually completely unhelpful as the list has no power to actually inspire the desire for us to do them. We just end up doing it because it’s “law.”

  5. You are right, Charlie.

    And then the gospel…just goes away.

  6. This quote from Gerhard Forde (regarding Pelagius)
    describes the agenda of ALL Christian list makers.

    “…like all moral reformers he didn’t want a theology that allowed people to relax.”

  7. That about says it all, Pastor Mark.

    Listmaking seems to be the default religion, even within the church.

    I, for one, am not having any of it. And I know many others who have tasted that true freedom in Christ who will not go back, either.

  8. You can’t make me! JK

    Good question. I’ll try to keep my mouth shut, but only by God’s grace will I ever be able to pull it off. But then again, there’s always duck tape.

    No, seriously, why can’t we just relax (have faith) in God’s promise that our salvation is complete and secure, and obey Jesus “for it is God who works in [us] to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

    Doesn’t it seem like unbelief or lack of faith that drives us to work grudgingly, as if we had to, to make our calling sure? And who will then tell us to have more faith, and to quit working the law? It won’t be me, I’ve got the duck tape.

    Blessings!

  9. “‘How are ‘you’ doing, when it comes to whatever it is you are telling people that they should be doing a better job of doing?’” (Steve)

    Pretty good actually, some stumbles along the way, but hey ‘to err is human’. Life is about developing a standard for living that makes sense and is compassionate. It’s not about not making mistakes, mistakes are pretty normal.

  10. SocietyVs,

    Good for you!

    Sounds like you are on your way!

    God’s standard for our living is the only standard that will count…in the end.

    And His standard is… perfection.

  11. “God’s standard for our living is the only standard that will count…in the end. And His standard is… perfection.” (Steve)

    Now for some rationale.

    Even if God’s standard is perfection, well, none of us are and we have to live on a earth that does have its share of evil, pains, and suffering. Should we not develop a standard by which to live and direct our lives?

  12. “Say’s who?” (Brent)

    Which part – the ‘err is human thing’ or ‘it’s normal to make mistakes’? They are pretty close to the same thing so I will briefly explain what I mean.

    Ever see a child burn their hand on a stove? Well that mistake may actually enhance their life in the long run and not hinder it. It teaches them a very simple lesson ‘fire hurts’. Gets them questioning, ‘what else hurts because I am not liking that kind of pain’. This is needed in order for them to become fully functioning adults in society.

    So when I say ‘mistakes are normal’ that is exactly what I mean – without them you would cease being ‘you’ and having te ability to make the decisions you do until this day.

  13. Yes.

    Faith active in love.

    We do what we can for our neighbors, and we when do something that is good for them, that is great. But we get no points for it, and we ought expect none.

    And when we fail to do something for someone where we have an opportunity to do so…we are forgiven for Jesus’ sake.

    I think that’s about it.

  14. ‘Sounds like you are on your way!’ (Steve)

    Where?

    Irony of that statement is it is your pattern of thinking that actually thinks ‘he is on his way’. I don’t really care, I just wanna live a good life that is productive in society whereby I try to honor and thank God for all I have recieved in this life (and continue to recieve). If there is a heaven, I’d be more than happy to come in – but I am not gonna blast the door down like someone who thinks they ‘deserve’ it.

  15. “If there is a heaven, I’d be more than happy to come in – but I am not gonna blast the door down like someone who thinks they ‘deserve’ it.”

    Now you’re talkin’! I like that!

  16. “We do what we can for our neighbors, and we when do something that is good for them, that is great. But we get no points for it, and we ought expect none.

    And when we fail to do something for someone where we have an opportunity to do so…we are forgiven for Jesus’ sake” (Steve)

    So it’s not a points system like weight watchers, I can buy that.

    However, since it isn’t – why does Jesus care what I do while on earth since ‘I am forgiven’? And vice versa, why do I care what Jesus is doing since the process is completed already?

  17. Jesus loves us and wants us to treat each other with love. But he knows that we are often self- absorbed, and often ignore the neighbor.

    That’s where the forgiveness comes in.

  18. “Jesus loves us and wants us to treat each other with love. But he knows that we are often self- absorbed, and often ignore the neighbor. That’s where the forgiveness comes in” (Steve)

    But since it’s not a ‘points system’ and there is no ‘scorecard’…it really doesnt matter what Jesus thinks of me or you, he could hate us and that wouldn’t matter…cause in your system no matter what we choose to do it is ‘forgiven’, not by my ‘asking’ but by ‘the death of Jesus’.

    • Aren’t you promoting the idea we are ‘perfect via Jesus’ perfection’? So, nothing I do can really stain the perfection of what Jesus done…cause it’s a past event – completed and finished some time around year 30 AD.

      This means I can break any and all laws of the Torah and teachings of Jesus and face absolutely no penalty – since there is no penalty for appearing perfect in Jesus via his perfect actions (committed some 2000 years ago). Basically, I could marry 500 women and treat them all as slaves and Jesus would be like ‘I wouldnt of done that but hey – I forgave him already’

  19. We need to be forgiven because we are sinners. God can’t have anything sinful in Heaven. So He (Jesus) takes our sin upon Himself, and gives us something in return…His righteousness.

    A pretty sweet deal for us, wouldn’t you say?

  20. There has to be repentance. We don’t even do that (on our own) God’s leads us there in the hearing of His law and His gospel.

    It may not matter to you what Jesus thinks of us, but it matters to Him (He loves us). Otherwise instead of dying for us, and forgiving us, He could just as easily wiped us out, or just left us to die in our sin and be separated from Him forever.

  21. “We need to be forgiven because we are sinners. God can’t have anything sinful in Heaven. So He (Jesus) takes our sin upon Himself, and gives us something in return…His righteousness. A pretty sweet deal for us, wouldn’t you say” (Steve)

    I got no problem with forgiveness for the sake of making amends for our full responsibility of our actions. Thats sensible and logical.

    As for the deal, it’s not a good deal – it’s a free pass. If I don’t have to be responsible for my own actions (my rights and wrongs in life) than it demeans me as a human being.

  22. We do break all of God’s laws.

    We can’t even get past the 1st Commandment.

    We have all sorts of other gods that we place ahead of the Living God.

    And, the Bible reminds us that if we have broken one, we are guilty of breaking them all. But just one, one time, is enough to stain us, to disqualify us from the perfection tht is required to enter a perfect and unstained Heaven.

  23. It’s a great deal…for us!

    GRACE

    God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.

  24. “And, the Bible reminds us that if we have broken one, we are guilty of breaking them all. But just one, one time, is enough to stain us, to disqualify us from the perfection tht is required to enter a perfect and unstained Heaven” (Steve)

    The problem here is the ‘bible’ does not say that – James and Paul say things along this line and even then they both tow the line about real repentance and being a disciple of Christs. What you’re saying is something that is cut n paste doctrine that Luther squeezed together to make sense of Jesus’ sacrifice…which may actually be wrong (seeing how wrong Luther was on many other subject areas). It’s an interpretation of Luthers, which to me, seems out of context and pasted from piece to piece to make this dogma.

    As for my point about the ‘bible’ – its not a unified piece – it is 66 different books and letters split into many sections – the biggest break being between Tanakh and NT additions. To think the bible ‘says this’ is to really water down the depth of the whole book as meaningful for the sake of making it simplistic.

  25. OK, Jason.

    You want to be a Jew…then be a Jew. You want to be a Christian..then be a Christian. You want to be some combination of both…then be that.

    What do you want from me?

    I’m trying to give people (here on this blog) the good news, that their sins are forgiven for Jesus’ sake and the war between them and God is over. No more religious prjects or righteousness on their part is necessary, because of Jesus.

    If you don’t believe that, then you don’t believe it.

    I really don’t know what else to say.

  26. “If you don’t believe that, then you don’t believe it. I really don’t know what else to say” (Steve)

    Its really not a matter of ‘believing it making it true’ and this is where I come in. What the scriptures say on an issue is a lot more complex than I or you give credit.

    I think there is room for many views, however, one has to admit many of the views shared in current Christianity may be more products of colorful theology than actual written word (ie: scriptural integrity). I only pose the questions, for reasons of moving in a direction where we all search for the truth together and admit our own drawbacks, our limitedness.

  27. Thanks, Jason.

    I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagee on what the truth is. I (and others) say it is Christ ..alone.

    And you (and others) say it is Christ (?) + something else. Or just, something else.

    The gospel is the forgiveness of sins in Christ Jesus. And we believe that is enough. The Bible has law language and gospel language in it, and many people, Christians included, believe that there is more to it than the forgiveness of sins in and through Christ Jesus. And there, we diverge.

    Off to do some chores!

    Ciao!

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