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Joined: 2011/1/12
Posts: 1357
Lakeland FL

 The positive and the negative in religion

In my surfing of the net in reading articles I can't help but notice how divisive religion is in the lives of people. Even how hurtful religion is as well.

This weekend, while at work, I was listening to Steve Brown, Etc and he interviewed Mark Driscoll about the top of 'who do you think you are?'. It deals with do you know who you are in Jesus?
Mark points out that in this modern world it seems many in the church are very quick to point out flaws in people while not acknowledging their own flaws in other areas. Kind of like saying someone should quit smoking if they claim to be Christian yet that person doesn't realize how much their are gossiping.

Mark also pointed out that in the books of the NT they always begin with a positive introduction despite whether the congregation has fallen asleep to their own sin.

The Gospel in a positive message in a negative world. It is a simple message and yet a hard one because it takes faith in order to believe in it and receive it. Yet, Christians take that positive message and use it to shackle other Christians and those who are not Christian with Gospel chains. Kind of like dressing up as Jesus and abusing instead of freeing from sin and loving the sinner.

I think it is a reflection of the human heart and while listening to this podcast the words 'default of the heart' came to my mind. What this means to me is the heart is desperately wicked and often times we don't know our own heart like we think we do. We become born again and our heart is supposed to change as we transform out minds. Yet, what happens is our hearts tends to default back to its original state only with the banner of religion. We end up walking out of the grace of God and think that if we 'do' things we are doing it for God rather than be led of His Spirit and then our heart begins to point and condemn others if they do not repent of their sins. It is part of that human condition and I think it is a reason why religion has hurt so many people.

Religion should be doing a positive work instead it seems so much as if it is turning out more Atheists, agnostics and people who are just bound up in the tradition without realize the life that is just beyond the veil. It should be a work in the heart and yet the heart seems to have defaulted back to its original sinful stated by those who want to walk in their own way rather than God's way.

Does this make any sense?



 2013/3/25 13:20Profile

Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 Re: The positive and the negative in religion

Quote: It should be a work in the heart and yet the heart seems to have defaulted back to its original sinful stated by those who want to walk in their own way rather than God's way.

It’s not that heart is defaulted original sinful stated but rather it never has been dealt with.. Here is a small article written by Samuel Logan Brengle

The Son of God came into this world, and lived, and toiled, and suffered, and died and rose again in order to accomplish a twofold purpose. The Apostle John explains this twofold work. In I John iii. 5, speaking of Jesus, he says, 'Ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins. This is His justification, and regeneration, which are done for us and in us. In verse 8 he adds, 'For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.' That is entire sanctification, which is a work done in us. Now upon an examination of experience and scripture, we find this is exactly what man needs to have done for him.
First, he needs to get rid of his own sins, and have a new principle of life planted in him. 'For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God' (Rom. iii. 23), and when any man comes to God, he comes burdened with a sense of his own wrongdoings and tempers. His sins condemn him; but, thank God, Jesus came to take away our sins. When a man comes with a penitent heart, acknowledging himself a sinner, and puts his trust in Jesus, he will find himself suddenly freed from his sins. The sense of guilt will vanish. The power of evil will be broken. The burden will roll away. Peace will fill his heart. He will see that his sins were laid on another, even on Jesus, and he will realize that 'with His stripes we are healed ' (Isa. liii. 5).

This is a result of that free pardon, that free justification for all past offenses, that God gives to every one who surrenders himself heartily to, and trusts in, Jesus. At the same time God plants in the man's heart a new life. The man is born of God, and receives what Paul calls the washing of regeneration, which washes away all the man's guilt, and all the sin for which he is responsible.

At this time, too, there will be planted in the man's heart love, joy, peace and the various fruits of the Spirit, and if his experience is very marked, as such experiences frequently are, he will probably think there is nothing more to be done. But, if he walks in 'humbleness of mind' (which, by the way, is a much-neglected fruit of the Spirit), if he speaks often and freely with those who love the Lord, and if he carefully searches the word of God and meditates therein day and night, he will soon find that sin's disease is deeper and more deadly than he thought, and that behind and below his own sins are the 'works of the devil,' that must also be destroyed before the work of grace in his soul can be complete.

He will find a big, dark something in him that wants to get mad when things are against him; something which will not be patient; something that is touchy and sensitive; something that wants to grumble and find fault; something that is proud and shuns the shame of the Cross; something that sometimes suggests hard thoughts against God; something that is self-willed and ugly and sinful. He hates this 'something' in him and wants to get rid of it, and probably condemns himself for it and maybe will feel that he is a greater sinner now than he ever was before he was converted. But he is not. In fact, he is not a sinner at all so long as he resists this something in himself.

Now, what is the trouble with the man? What is the name of this troublesome 'something'? Paul calls it by several names. In Rom. viii. 7 he calls it ' the carnal mind,' and he says it is 'enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.' You cannot fix it up. You cannot whitewash it over. You cannot make it better by culture or growth, or by any effort whatever. It is an enemy of God, and cannot be anything else.
In the seventh chapter (verse 24) he calls it 'the body of this death' and wonders how he can get deliverance from it. In Eph. iv. 22, and in Col. iii. 9, he calls it 'the old man.' In Gal. v.17, he calls it 'the flesh.' James calls it 'superfluity of naughtiness,' which is also well rendered, 'the remainder of iniquity' (Jas. i. 21).

Hope thats helps

Colin Murray

 2013/3/25 16:10Profile

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