Thursday, June 18, 2009

Why People Become De-Churched

I just finished reading the book of Job this morning and was reminded how inappropriate it is, like Job's friends, to live our lives with the mindset that suffering is always a direct result of wickedness. The idea being, if you are struggling with cancer or facing bankruptcy, there must have been something you did to cause it. Certainly there are consequences for our poor actions, but when you understand the gospel you see that even our most obeident actions are incapable of reversing the judgment we deserve because of sin. The point being that God's graciousness produces everything and anything in our life that is good, it is not a result of our righteousness, or in the case of suffering, our wickedness.

This also applies to the belief that if we are good, we will be rewarded with blessings from the Lord. One need to only view a few minutes of Christian television to see this theology preached in extreme measure. To think this way is to strip the gospel of it's beauty and power. God's gift of life is His benevolent action extended to us in spite of our sin. This grace frees us from the guilt and condemnation that comes with us always trying to "measure up" to a standard we're incapable of reaching.

In this video Matt Chandler illustrates how moralism is the very reason many churched people become de-churched. Those raised in moralism either become moralists themselves or see moralism for what it is and run as far as they can from the church. Moralism is one of the greatest dangers in the church and something that must be opposed.

(HT: Desiring God)


HoB said...

It's incredible how many Christians believe that God is a God of karma and not of grace. We deserve death of the worst kind, so to be given anything with any beauty in it is grace... not karma. We can't earn it because we aren't worthy to earn it; but He is worthy so He can freely give it.
Good reminder, thanks Scott.

Anonymous said...

Hi Scott:
I was raised as a Lutheran and even though my parents were not Christians they were "legalists". I've discussed this with you several times how some reformed churches are very legalistic and in turn cause children to abandon the church when they become old enough. When I get the chance I want to talk to you more about this. That's all for now. Escondido Lady.