Saturday, March 14, 2009

Religious Nuts

Frank Friedmann just mentioned this in a sermon of his I'm currently listening to on Grace Walk Radio. He heard it from Malcolm Smith and I've experienced the exact same thing.

Why is it whenever I tell someone I am a Christian, they immediately start talking about their behavior? Just the other day, a guy who had been drinking asked me if I was a Christian while I took him to buy some beer. I told him yes, I was a Christian. He then said "Oh, then I'll try not to cuss or drink around you." While that strokes my flesh's pharisee ego, I told him I wasn't that kind of Christian; Meaning I wasn't about changing behavior, but trusting in the one who saved me because I couldn't change my behavior. I needed a new heart. I was dead and I needed to be made alive. I needed someone to get to the root of the problem.

But why is the name Christian now synonymous with being good? I thought it was about trusting in the Only One who is good. This whole behavior change thing really *pees* me off because sooner or later you fail. Sure, you claim Christ is the Solid Rock on which you stand, but you deny it in your actions.

Listen to Titus, when Paul is describing religious zealots who profess to know Christ, but deny him by their religion:

"For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons." This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure; but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work."

So Paul says one of the Cretans, a prophet of the circumcision party, is speaking against the irreligious sinners, calling them liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons. Paul turns the charge around on him. Reminds me of what was said in Romans: "You who boast in the law, dishonor God by breaking the law."

6 comments:

Gary Kirkham said...

Hi Matt,

I think you are right. It seems that too many Christians run around telling lost people how they should behave as if doing right and not doing wrong is the most important thing. You can give a corpse a bath and dress him in a suit, but he is still dead. His greatest need is Life.

It isn't our job to tell them how to act. So when you say you aren't the kind of Christian to hit someone over the head with a bible and tell them to straighten up, I can appreciate that. It isn't necessarily fear of getting whacked that makes them want to behave differently around you.

It is our "job" to be light, for we *are* light. And that light shines into darkness, but the darkness doesn't comprehend it and tries to hide (John 1:5). The lost become uncomfortable when exposed to the light and even hate the light (John 3:20). But at the same time, it's that light that leads people out of darkness (John 12:46).

So keep shining brother!

Son of the Light,
Gary

Joel B. said...

I have a joke about the title of your post, but I won't say it, as fitting as it is. Instead, I'll just direct you to Galatians 5:12.

:-D

The Lewis Family said...

oh that is funny Joel! And those are some true and good to hear posts M!

lydia joy said...

Good one! The post and Joel's joke!!

Jamie said...

JOEL BRUESEKE!! Honestly!

Matthew Daelon said...

Gary,

Thank you, brother!! I can't wait to see you in Atlanta! But you're exactly right. They hate the light, because they believe it has come to expose their deeds. But Jesus didn't come to condemn the world, but to save it!! WOO!

Joel...

YOU DA MAN!! LOL