As Religion Implodes

Over Christmas we attended a Sunday service where my parents worship. What could go wrong on a Christmas Eve service Right? Man it was ugly. The title of the service the, and I’m not kidding you here, “The Dark Side of Christmas”. I’ve never heard a hell fire and brimstone message on Christmas Eve before but I guess there is always a first time for everything. It was really sad to see that there was such a need to convince everyone that we were in the “wrath box” before extending grace. I couldn’t help but keep thinking about the quote from the youtube video on aids about extending grace before trashing with the condemning sin talk, yah I’m there. It was even replete with the famous Spurgeon quote “We are all standing on a plank over hell and the plank is rotten”, and I think he was thinking that it was a hot molten snowball free one at that. I couldn’t help think that I don’t think that I could serve a God like that and in fact I found my mind wandering down the thought line of if that is what God is like then I don’t want to be a part of it. I think that God has been doing some cool stuff in my life over the last 20 years or so, but those kind of sermons are trigger points for someone like myself who has been brought up in the more Fundamentalist fire breathing side of the God Camp,

There is quite a predominant movement afoot that is actually teaching pastors and others that we cannot extend grace to people until they feel the full weight of the law, their guilt and God’s wrath. How truly sad—as if sin isn’t its own worse punishment! What’s saddest to me is that these people have not yet found the treasure of life in Christ to be some compelling that God is worth loving for himself. He’s not just the better alternative to hell. He is the most incredible Father we could ever know, and he rescues us from sin, not bashes us with it. But they have no idea.

I honestly think we’ll see more of this as religion implodes from within. Not knowing how else to motivate people or keep the faithful contained, there will be more of this people-bashing with hell and wrath to try to keep what’s left in line. All of it breaks my heart.

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6 Comments
  1. Pat March 18, 2007 at 11:14 am

    I’m not in to hell fire and brimstone, but there is something quite refreshing really when we come face to face with a fallen self before a holy God. Among other things, it reminds us, me anyway, of the true grace and gift of God, which is His atonemnet for us. And that is the act that grants us access to the very throne of God.

    Pat

  2. Pat March 18, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    I’m not in to hell fire and brimstone, but there is something quite refreshing really when we come face to face with a fallen self before a holy God. Among other things, it reminds us, me anyway, of the true grace and gift of God, which is His atonemnet for us. And that is the act that grants us access to the very throne of God.

    Pat

  3. Heather March 19, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Hi Wayne,
    the last two paragraphs of this blog entry were right on! Sometimes I feel like I’m hitting my head against a brick wall with the sinner sermons…..we’re supposed to be free, but why do I feel like sometimes in the church we’re walking backwards rather then running forward. Thanks so much for writing this!

  4. Heather March 19, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Hi Wayne,
    the last two paragraphs of this blog entry were right on! Sometimes I feel like I’m hitting my head against a brick wall with the sinner sermons…..we’re supposed to be free, but why do I feel like sometimes in the church we’re walking backwards rather then running forward. Thanks so much for writing this!

  5. Shane March 28, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    I am thankful for he law. For without it, I would never have come to Christ. If you look at the ministry of Christ and the Apostle Paul, it is very clear that the law (and hell) were used in their preaching. If you read the Book of Romans, you will see Paul’s use of the law and how it “tudors” us to Christ. Freedom then comes through grace–but grace is meaningless without the law and the judgment of sin.

    Since when did the law and hell go out of style? I thank God for them. Not only is the perfect righteousness of God displayed, but it brings us to His grace. Grace without the knowledge of our sin (and the knowledge of the reality of hell) becomes just another feel good word.

    “Flee from the wrath of God”–it’s the message of the Bible. Thanks be to God for the Cross and His atoning work there for us. Without it, we would be lost! Praise God!

    I would have to strongly disagree with this post. I wonder if you take the Book of Romans seriously or not?

  6. Shane March 28, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    I am thankful for he law. For without it, I would never have come to Christ. If you look at the ministry of Christ and the Apostle Paul, it is very clear that the law (and hell) were used in their preaching. If you read the Book of Romans, you will see Paul’s use of the law and how it “tudors” us to Christ. Freedom then comes through grace–but grace is meaningless without the law and the judgment of sin.

    Since when did the law and hell go out of style? I thank God for them. Not only is the perfect righteousness of God displayed, but it brings us to His grace. Grace without the knowledge of our sin (and the knowledge of the reality of hell) becomes just another feel good word.

    “Flee from the wrath of God”–it’s the message of the Bible. Thanks be to God for the Cross and His atoning work there for us. Without it, we would be lost! Praise God!

    I would have to strongly disagree with this post. I wonder if you take the Book of Romans seriously or not?

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