Monday, July 23, 2007

Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

Darrin Patrick, lead pastor of the Journey in St. Louis, has a great comparison-contrast on the difference between "religion" and the gospel he's adapted from Tim Keller. (HT Paulus Tignarius)

Here are a few of my favorites:

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: When I am criticized I am furious or devastated because it is critical that I think of myself as a ‘good person’. Threats to that self-image must be destroyed at all costs.
Gospel: When I am criticized I struggle, but it is not critical for me to think of myself as a ‘good person.’ My identity is not built on my record or my performance but on God’s love for me in Christ. I can take criticism. That’s how I became a Christian.

Religion: My prayer life consists largely of petition and it only heats up when I am in a time of need. My main purpose in prayer is control of the environment.
Gospel: My prayer life consists of generous stretches of praise and adoration. My main purpose is fellowship with Him.

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.

I find it interesting how prone we are as humans to revert back to a religiosity that nullifies the cross, trying to manipulate our deity, as did/do the pagans.

I might add one of my own:
Religion: People reaching up to God, trying to appease Him and merit His favor.
Gospel: God taking the initiative to reach people, ultimately seen in the incarnation of Christ.


At 26 July, 2007 10:42, Blogger Jeff Wright said...

Oh man, I thought the title said "Honkey religions..." which really made me laugh. Little random, I know. :)

At 30 July, 2007 03:32, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, why is the word religion so hated today? Calvin apparently liked it (Institutes of the Christian Religion) as did James (pure relgion and undefiled is this...). So why can't we talk about true or pure religion versus false religion? I love the Lord AND I'm religious.

At 04 August, 2007 09:23, Blogger paulustignarius said...

I clicked on this because I recognized the Han Solo quote, but I had no idea you'd linked me. Thanks. And, I like the addition.

At 08 August, 2007 06:10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article should be attributed to Tim Keller. I simply posted it.
darrin patrick


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