Sometimes the clay is just baked

Tallest man in the world by Dan Squires

Have you ever tried to discuss the gospel with another Christian   and all you get in return is a bunch of bunch of “yeah buts”?

Many of us have.

Sometimes, I believe you just have to leave it (them) alone. Sometimes they are just really into the religious Christian project… climbing steadily, improving their Christian lives, and there’s no stopping them. In such a case I would suggest that you just let them go ahead with their project. And then look for others to share the gospel with. Look for those beaten and battered by life, or their own religious projects. It is here that the law has done it’s job and it is here that the gospel may have the best chance of being heard and freeing the person from the law (what ‘they do’).

Every person and situation is different and I do not advocate a formula. But I think the general principle is fairly steady.

What do you think?



Thanks to flicker and Dan Squires, for the photo.




11 Responses

  1. I think we prefer to climb ladders because they are more tangible than a gospel of grace.

  2. Your post reminds me of a quote from the book, “The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse.” It states,

    “Beware when preaching grace, for the religious will become angry… but take comfort, for the wounded will be healed.”

  3. I think you are right, Charlie. Especially where there’s not any tangible Sacraments for the assurance of our salvation.

  4. Great quote, Pastor Matt!

    I’ll remember that one!

  5. I think if we are going to do anything with these folks, it might be to pour it on them (the law).

    ‘Are you sure you are doing enough?’ ‘Are you really using your time, energies, and resources in the best possible ways to benefit the neighbor?’

    etc., etc..

  6. I love your title…

    For some people, the law is like any other addiction–they know it’s destroying them, but they just can’t let it go. No matter how bad they feel, there’s always that dangling carrot of “maybe this time I’ll actually succeed!”

  7. Sometimes I think too, like a farmer, we need to plant the seed and walk away. One plants, another waters, another harvests (1 Cor 3:6-8)

    So we may get to plant a seed, but we may not even see the sprout – we only see the weeds growing around it and nothing from our seed.

    And yet, if we were faithful, there is no telling what God will use through His spirit. You are right, sometimes the clay is baked, other times, the plant is just slow.


  8. “No matter how bad they feel, there’s always that dangling carrot of “maybe this time I’ll actually succeed!” ”

    Kind of like Las Vegas. “I’m due for a win”

    Thanks, Alden. I think there’s a lot of truth in that.

  9. Drewe,

    A Lutheran pastor friend of mine told me the exact same thing over the phone last night.

    I guess we ought not get frustrated, or discouraged, but rather just throw that seed, and maybe water now and then.

  10. Steve the comment that the broken on their religious projects respond to the gospel. You and I have talked about this and you know that I lived constantly comparing myself to other Christians to see if I was IN or OUT. It was fine when I thought I might be as strong as someone but it was HORRIBLE when I got around some spiritual giant like my roommate in college who is now a missionary to a muslim country. I literally was on the brink of death. Then bam the Gospel came in and for the FIRST TIME I heard that I was forgiven for Christ’s sake. I was shocked that all of the years of church and youth group and college bible studies, I had never heard that Jesus’ forgiveness was there for me. If I did here it, it got lost in the endless things one had to do in order to “grow.”

  11. Robin,

    That’s the importance of the law in all of this. The law would not let you rest. And it wore you down to the point of death. This is the legitimate theological use of the law…to kill.

    You can’t be re-born until you die. So the law killed you, and the gospel raised you again.

    That’s so much of the trouble in ladder climbing churches…there’s no dying going on. And when someone does get to that point (in those churches), there’s no pure gospel to come in and give them life. There’s only more law, “try harder”.

    Thanks be to God, Robin, that the Lord was able to break you free of all of that stuff and give you the rest that He has won for you.

    Thanks, my f riend.

    – Steve

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