Saturday, January 19, 2008

Works, doesn't work.

This is something that has been pressing in my life. Every minister, preacher, or pastor will seem to have a theme that they preach. Almost no matter what the topic is, the theme will revolve around similar things. For me, I tend to reject "religion" in all of its powerless and binding forms.
One of these topics is the works system. The works system is what I believe all religion that is not true faith revolves around. That is, the idea that if we do "good" God will like us and bless us. Every major religion has this. Catholicism teaches that to go to heaven we must be a "good person" which encompasses giving a lot of money to the church, abstaining from premarital sexual relationship, and not killing anyone. If you pray and attend church regularly then God will like you better. Judaism is much the same in that if you can carry the full weight of the law and not break your back you are a good Jew and YHWH will grant you life with Him. Islam says that if the balance of "good" vs evil in your life weighs in favor of good than you might make it to heaven. Further good means punishing your self for the sins of your past sins and the sins of your relatives. it also means fasting and reading your quran and the ultimate good is killing those Kufar's the ones polluting the earth. On and on it goes.

This bad theology and philosophy has crept into our "main stream" christianity today. We too believe that if we offer daily prayers and fast, and "get people saved" and do the stuff of the bible then we are close to God and therefore He owes us a blessing when and how we want it. This is not only bad theology it is dangerous to us.

God relates to us on the basis of a promise, a covenant He made with man that He ratified in His own blood from His own Son. In fact, the only thing we have to do with this amazing agreement is to believe it, receive it, be thankful for it. Our blessings do not come on the basis of how good or not we are but how good He is. Now I know a lot of us know this cerebrally in our mind and our souls, but obviously this hasn't penetrated our spirit.- who we are.

Should we pray?fast?give?read daily the bible? Unequivocally Yes. but not out of a motive to twist God's arm. If we encounter who He really is, and the fullness there of, then we gain all the motivation we need to automatically "do good". but not out of the pretense that we are doing God any favors, but out of adoration, devotion, appreciation for who He is, not what He has or can offer.

Bottom line: He gave up His all, all He asks is for us to give Him our all and we will get all we desire. But do not focus on the getting of all but rather on the giving of all to Him- the One worthy of it all.

So please my friends and beloved, pursue Love, towards God first, others next and all the love you "require" will be given to you. Works, Doesn't Work. Maybe you have felt the weight of guilt, shame, and condemnation for not being "good" I pray that this leads you to the path of freedom in Christ.