Monday, October 8, 2007

Religion vs. the Gospel

I was just reminded of the difference between religion and the gospel again recently when I happened upon an article on the web comparing a life lived based on "religion" and one based upon the gospel, adapted from Tim Keller. Here's a little snipet:
"Religion: I obey -- therefore I’m accepted.
Gospel: I'm accepted -- therefore I obey.
Religion: Motivation is based on fear and insecurity.
Gospel: Motivation is based on grateful joy.
Religion: I obey God in order to get things from God.
Gospel: I obey God to get to God-to delight and resemble Him.
Religion: When circumstances in my life go wrong, I am angry at God or my self, since I believe, like Job’s friends that anyone who is good deserves a comfortable life.
Gospel: When circumstances in my life go wrong, I struggle but I know all my punishment fell on Jesus and that while he may allow this for my training, he will exercise his Fatherly love within my trial.
Religion: My self-view swings between two poles. If and when I am living up to my standards, I feel confident, but then I am prone to be proud and unsympathetic to failing people. If and when I am not living up to standards, I feel humble, but not confident-I feel like a failure.
Gospel: My self-view is not based on a view of my self as a moral achiever. In Christ I am simul iustus et peccator—simultaneously sinful and lost yet accepted in Christ. I am so bad he had to die for me and I am so loved he was glad to die for me. This leads me to deeper and deeper humility and confidence at the same time. Neither swaggering nor sniveling. "

1 comment:

kq said...

I recently read this book, Messy Spirituality, by Michael Yaconelli. He talks about how church is supposed to be for the sinners, but everyone hides behind this facade that everything's fine with them, and they have their faith all squared away perfectly. Anyway, it's a great book, and it reminded me of your post. Love y'all!