Christians are experts in denial. We find ways to cover our tracks, to hide the problem, and to justify ourselves with a string of excuses. We've become experts at putting on a facade of a happier, more behaved version of ourselves. We hide the problem while appearing to have it all together.
Today, I’m excited to announce the launch of a new book that I've been working on for several months in order to share with the world - for free! Introducing: The Art of Law and Gospel.
One of the most dangerous problems plaguing the Christian Church is the failure to distinguish Law and Gospel. These two words - Law and Gospel - are a gift from God. We need both words, but we need them for different reasons.
The greatest threat to the Christian Church is not the culture we live in. Despised the ever-present culture-wars, it is not the greatest potential of damage to the Church. Christianity has faced cultures far more hostile to the Christian faith and have experienced exponential growth.
Once an addict always an addict. It may not have hit you, but it will. It always does.
We are born in this world addicted to the Law. We crave "do this or don't do this" and from our first sip, we measure ourselves accordingly. We get high off of our own self-righteousness, creating images of ourselves based on imaginary comparisons. .
The Christian Church loves to preach the Law. It loves to give us lists, steps, and advice. The Church loves to preach "do this" to a people who repeatedly fail to do it.The lists and steps aren't the problem, the problem is that lists, steps, and advice at best are a temporary fix to a symptom of the real problem.
The first artist, only one day into his new life, is given an important creative endeavor. We don't know if he also suffered from the first case of writers block or had to deal with the inner turmoil of staring at a blank canvas, but less than 24 hours into life in the Garden, Adam is given the first creative opportunity.
Slavery turns human beings into assets. Oppression becomes the method of business in order to meet the demands of the master. Tyranny, manipulation, and fear are all wielded to get the slaves to do whatever the master wants.
The Law is the dominant language of our culture. We may not realize it behind a veil of self-improvement, fashion advice, or suggested nutrition plans from lifestyle bloggers, but the predominant message of culture is "Do more. Try Harder."
Every set of instructions ends the same way - frustration, confusion, and a pile of extra pieces. Instructions are the bane of Christmas morning. Instructions make a trip to ikea filled with angst. Instructions have a gift for making us curse toy manufacturers, swearing they added extra pieces.
God's assembling a league of not-so-extraordinary gentlemen. He's gathering ordinary individuals with marginal influence, mediocre careers, and minimal pay. These men and women aren't the ones that are told of in legends. These aren't the men that kids dream about becoming - kids don't go to bed dreaming about working on the assembly line or doing taxes.
The accusations of the voices we hear on a daily basis are deafening. There is no shortage of voices that will remind us of our failures. If God can choose to speak even through the mouth of an ass to get his message across, it seems that Satan has an abundance to choose from for his message
A Roman execution device isn't exactly a picturesque scene of divine love on display. It'd be the equivalent to having three criminals side-by-side in electric chairs. Or a firing squad having their criminals in a line with crowds watching and laughing.
After an experimental treatment turns Wade Wilson into a mutant with healing powers–while simultaneously retaining his wit and a crude sense of humor–Wade Wilson becomes Deadpool and gives himself to hunting down and destroying the man who left him disfigured and ruined.
The Law gets a bad rap. There is certainly a negative component to the Law. The work of the Law is very different than the work of the Gospel. If the Gospel’s work is to revive, the Law’s work is to kill. If the Gospel’s work is to cover over sin, the Law’s work is to expose sin. If the Gospel is the Good News, the Law is the Bad News.
There is a large gap between what happens in churches on Sunday morning and what happens in the life of the average person on Monday morning. And this gap grows wider as the cultural differences between the values of the Church and the values of our communities are growing further apart.
“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo..."