Tag Archives: Freedom

Without the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ …

Without the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ God’s law becomes unproductive!

Without the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ God’s law becomes behavior modification!

 

Runners or Restorers

Think about how you cope with difficult feelings, thoughts, and emotions. People have a strong range of methods we use. TV, eating, sex, drugs. On the more socially acceptable level we might get black and white and self righteous and rather than loving others we get consumed by what is right and wrong. Self righteousness is a very powerful way to cope and operates much like sex and drugs. Or maybe we just get busy around the house rather than have an important discussion. Escapism is less an activity and more of an art form for some of us!

I was in my men’s group one of the wise men in the group stated that at a larger level his sin and problems were more a way to escape from difficult thoughts and feelings more than anything else! In a way, I believe, we have all developed a person inside us that knows how to escape and hide! I call this my survivor man! Survivor man exists to protect the part of me that feels hurt and wounded. He won’t confront anything directly since his whole purpose is to protect you from the pain and difficult thoughts you developed in the past.

I know some people that run and hide from difficult thoughts, emotions, and relationships. Some of them have completely dysfunctional relationships because of this. Some of my friends have multiple broken relationships because of this. These people are running from broken relationships and difficult thoughts and feelings. Escapism techniques are an art form for some of them!

The people that I have as mentors (and friends) in my life are people that are at least aware of this problem… and they are doing their best to not RUN from difficult, thoughts, feelings, and difficult relationships. They are handling them by being emotionally honest about them… and they are allowing emotional honesty in return from others!

Rather than RUNNING from difficult thoughts, feelings, and difficult relationships …. they are RESTORING them!

Robbing Paul to Play Peter

Ok, me and my subtleties.  But I believe subtleties are important.

I was reading an online article by  popular Christian author  today.  I won’t mention his name … again.  There are just a couple of authors that are sooo popular that other people/Christians read and love but when I read them I will have maybe a lot of take aways … but in the end I find them lacking in an overall theme and vision of doctrine.  Usually I can’t put my finger on it but more recently I have been able to put my finger on it.   So I was reading this author and his discussion about Christian Freedom (and Christian slavery). Yes, the bible does discuss Christian slavery when it says we are “slaves of righteoussness”.    It uses it other contexts of the word “slave” also as it seeks the Lordship of Christ.

However,   what I see as I read this author was  a Peterism.  If you recall from scripture Peter is a man who we learn from his mistakes more than we learn from his teachings.  Peter had a lot of zeal and enthusiasm… but in the Gospels even though Peter was convinced he would not deny Jesus, HE DID!  Again in Galatians Peter was confronted by Paul with not acting in line with the truth of the Gospel (Gal 2:14).  He was making an additive to the completely finished work of Christ even though he already knew the work of Christ finished it all!

As I read this author as he discussed Christs Lordship you could sense  the Peterisms overflowing as he wanted the Church to be more holy.    Yes, I want the holiness of the Church and I also yearn for that Holiness…. but I don’t believe it will be accomplished with Peterisms.

In a nutshell this author, I believe, was robbing Paul’s message in Galatians to play the part of a Peter.  At the same time, I believe, that a corrected Peter is the foundation of the Church today. We need to spend some time correcting the Peters in our Churches because they will become our future and the foundation of the Church.  I consider myself a corrected Peter.

May the cross and the love of Jesus Christ lead you to more holiness every day.

A related post is here:

https://centralityofthegospel.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/the-two-thieves-of-the-gospel/

Anti-moralist Christianity

I know it sounds like a weird title but bear with the article:

http://www.worldmag.com/articles/14143

The article says:

“The Reason for God” boldly takes aim at smug self-righteousness: “It is possible to avoid Jesus as Savior as much by keeping all the Biblical rules as by breaking them.” As Keller explains, “Both religion (in which you build your identity on your moral achievements) and irreligion (in which you build your identity on some other secular pursuit or relationships) are, ultimately, spiritually identical courses to take. Both are ’sin.’”

The articles goes on to say.

Keller in New York and I in Texas have seen the result: “Churches that are filled with self-righteous, exclusive, insecure, angry, moralistic people are extremely unattractive. . . . Millions of people raised in or near these kinds of churches reject Christianity at an early age or in college largely because of their experience. For the rest of their lives, they are inoculated against Christianity.”

Again

Keller’s summary: Often, “people whose lives have been harder and who are ‘lower on the character scale’ are more likely to recognize their need for God and turn to Christianity.

and again

Keller also rightly objects to charges that Christians feel superior to others: Christians realize that many people of other faiths “will live lives morally superior to their own . . . Christian believers are not accepted by God because of their moral performance, wisdom, or virtue, but because of Christ’s work on their behalf.” He notes that most worldviews connect spiritual status to religious attainments: “This naturally Continue reading