A response

 

I think it’s important to read people who are smart and gifted and think differently from you.  And that’s why I read Rachel Held Evans blog.

Her last post was tough.

She described people who believe in God’s absolute sovereignty as cold & unfeeling and hate any kind of doubt or questioning.

Ugh.doubt and faith

I’m not scared of doubt. It does not define me and it does not anger or threaten my God.

Two dangerous responses to rules

You’ve heard it a million times, but Christian, stop and consider: we are under grace, not the law.

We have a hard time figuring out what to do with that crazy law. Our sinful flesh has two pendulum swings: (1) to trust the law to save us. (2) to blame the law for our sin.

The law is not the source of life.   Sin uses the law to deceive us by convincing us that you and I can find worth and value and life through obeying God’s commands.

Who dishonors God more?

In the first couple of chapters of Romans, Paul is addressing folks who thought that being circumcised or keeping the law meant they were closer to God.  Today, in modern-day America, the equivalent to his audience is the traditional christian who is struggling with judging others.

America is filled with people who think they are holier than others because they’re heterosexual or because they don’t sleep around.  It’s filled with people who think they’re closer to God because they go to church or they vote republican or they do daily devotionals or they’re a ‘decent’ person.

Two ways NOT to respond to sinners

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m obsessed with Romans right now.  Loving it.  It is tearing me apart.  Separating joints and marrow indeed.

Here’s another crazy thing that Romans says: there are two ways to respond to sin that both indicate that we don’t get the Gospel.

1. Approve sin.  The first response that indicates a rejection of the Gospel in our hearts is the tendency to approve other people’s sin.

Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:28-32 ESV)

Disobeying God: cause or effect?

Listen to this list of things:

  • the lusts of our hearts to impurity
  • the dishonoring of our bodies
  • dishonorable passions
  • a debased mind
  • all manner of unrighteousness
  • all manner of evil

Those things sound like they might be the main problem between us and God.  But here’s what crazy Paul says in crazy Romans: these things are not the primary cause of our separation from God, they happen because we are separated from God.

Our broken faculties – these things we label as ‘sin’ – are the consequence of the real issue: our worship problem.