Centrality of the Gospel and Religious and Irreligious Idols

In the link below Tim Keller discusses religious and irreligious idols. He says the religious that live for morality and the irreligious both use their pathologies to avoid Jesus as their savior. On another BLOG I started discussing this with a genttleman (Hi Josh).

Here is a place to discuss religious and irreligious idols that we all have.

centrality-of-the-gospel1

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5 thoughts on “Centrality of the Gospel and Religious and Irreligious Idols

  1. theoldadam

    I think you have rightly diagnosed the problem.

    Our sin nature is a law nature (“the law is written upon our hearts”). We naturally gravitate towards ‘doing’ for our justification. That is exactly why someone who has been told a thousand times that we are saved by grace alone through Jesus blood on the cross, will run out after being told once that he ought be doing this and that, and do it, because he now believes it will make him a better Christian.

    That is why the law (shoulds, oughts, and musts) needs to be carefully seperated from the gospel in preaching and teaching.

    That is also why the sacraments are so important, that we might have the assurance of our salvation without all the ‘doing’ projects that prerachers find all over the Bible, but fail to seperate from the gospel.

  2. spadinofamily

    Great thoughts Steve! As I have been discussing this topic with Josh on another BLOG I realize the he and I will probably always disagree.

    He proclaimed himself as a fundamentalist. My definition of a fundamentalist is a person that interprets all scripture as if its a 20th century legal document. MY interpretation is an evangelistic approach and it attempts to interpret scripture through the eyes of Jesus Christ. Its NOT a matter of absolutes vs relative as he proclaimed. Its really trying to have the same MO (mode of operation) as Jesus did.

    Quite often its not even the interpretation of scripture thats the difference. Quite often the interpretation is the same. However, how scripture plays itself out in the lives of people is quite often different between these two groups.

    So he and I really cant have a discussion that will go anywhere because he will take one piece of scripture and apply it to everything and call my interpretation relative, As I rebuke him I will try to humbly tell him to gain a deeper understanding of scripture.

    It wont really get anywhere very fast.

  3. spadinofamily

    This also highlights an important distinction that I want people to think about as they look at scripture. The extremes of fundamentalism can be the same exact problem that the pharisees had. As a matter of fact a person does not have to be fundamentalist at all to have this problem.

    Lets read about this in Matthew.

    13″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.[c]

    15″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

    16″Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’ 19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.

    23″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

    [And my favorite verse in this says”]

    24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

    It says here that they are doing many of the right things but they have neglected the most important matters of doctrine. IN other words they really don’t have the right starting point.

  4. spadinofamily

    This also highlights an important distinction that I want people to think about as they look at scripture. The extremes of fundamentalism can be the same exact problem that the pharisees had. As a matter of fact a person does not have to be fundamentalist at all to have this problem.

    Lets read about this in Matthew.

    13″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.[c]

    15″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

    16″Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’ 19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.

    23″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

    [And my favorite verse in this says”]

    24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

    It says here that they are doing many of the right things but they have neglected the most important matters of doctrine. IN other words they really don’t have the right starting point.

  5. spadinofamily

    I should be really open here. I dont see anything whatsoever wrong with fundamentalist leanings. I do, however, think they have a higher tendency to not see the logs in their own eyes.

    Works based righteousness is one of the THE most subtle sins in the Christendom today. To find ourselves solely in the righteusness of Christ (Romans 1:17) can not be added upon in any way whatsoever. Its also damaging to the spreading of the Gospel message.

    In the verse above it says the attitude of the Pharisees actually shuts the Kingdom of heaven in mens faces. This is a tragedy today and more than likely its happening in everyones Church reading this BLOG in either an overt or subvert way.

    JS

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