Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Someone Else's Words

I have a devotional entitled "reflections for ragamuffins" by brennan manning. if you ever thought you were anything, then you need to start reading this guy. his love for people and brokenness of heart aka a ragamuffin, is amazing. although i don't believe he represents the entire spectrum of what a christian should be, he will definitely be a great aid in knocking you off your high horse and teach you to rest in the Lord. check out this quote from today's reading. "legalistic christianity" this is the God of the gospel of grace. a God who, out of love for us, sent the only Son he ever had wrapped in our skin. He learned how to walk, stumbled and fell, cried for His milk, sweated blood in the night, was lashed with a whip and showered with spit, was fixed to a cross, and died whispering forgiveness on us all. the God of the legalistic Christian, on the other hand, is often unpredictable, erratic, and capable of all manner of prejudices. when we view God this way, we feel compelled to engage in some sort of magic to appease Him. Sunday worship becomes a superstitious insurance policy against His whims. this God expects people to be perfect and to be in perpetual control of their feelings and thoughts. when broken people with this concept of God fail--as inevitably they must--they usually expect punishment. so, they persevere in religious practices as they struggle to maintain a hollow image of a perfect self. the struggle itself is exhausting. the legalists can never live up to the expectations they project on God. He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: 'these people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. they worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'" Mark 7:6-7

2 comments:

Rick said...

Brennan Manning--Isn't he the guy that did the spoken word intro to the song "What If I Stumble?" by DC Talk, on their Jesus Freak cd about ten years ago? It went something like, "The single biggest cause of atheism today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, and walk out the door and get on with their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable". Or something like that. If memory serves me right, he also served as some kind of spiritual advisor to them as well.

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