Sunday, March 09, 2008

RELIGION AND CHRIST'S FREEDOM JUST DON'T MIX

The painful part of the process of walking into Christ's freedom just seems impossible to avoid. Law is suppose to expose our inability to perform well enough to ever feel at peace, but the Christian religion so often immediately steps in and offers a new set of performances and often the process of internal transformation is aborted and then the illusion of freedom Ellul often speaks of fills the void.

11 comments:

Joel Brueseke said...

Wow man, my friend and I recorded our latest program/podcast for Grace Walk Radio this afternoon and we hit on this very subject.

So many of the things we do as Christians, even "good" things such as prayer, Bible reading, assembling with other believers, etc, can become laws and rules to us rather than things we do out of a loving relationship with our Father and with each other. And there are plenty of made-up rules that the church goes along with as well.

Either way, if we're trying to live by any of the 610+ laws and commandments of the O.C. or if we're trying to live by any set of rules or laws that we've stipulated in the church, the end result is the same - guilt and condemnation (or an illusion of freedom, as is your point here).

I'm sure there are many people who go that route because it's easier to say "I follow this rule, and this rule and this rule," rather than having a conscience that is established and grounded deeply in the grace and freedom of God, after having actually met Him in the deepest parts of our hearts where decisions are made - often after having wrestled a while with Him and the issues that have come up in life.

I think Ellul is right on, if I'm understanding him correctly. Rules-keeping gives us an illusion of freedom.

There are many people who are living an illusion of victory in their Christian life. Deep down they know they are dirty and hypocritical (behavior-wise), but on the outside they have established their own "you shall and you shall not" zone that gives the appearance that all is well.

Law will never truly transform them in the way they think it will. In the end, they will either have to keep up a very good act, or hopefully in the end their laws and rules will bring them to the end of themselves and they will come to understand true and pure freedom that comes solely through Christ.

Kent said...

"or hopefully in the end their laws and rules will bring them to the end of themselves and they will come to understand true and pure freedom that comes solely through Christ"

Joel, I've seen so many people come to that place where deep down inside they are so aware that it is not working and they are so exhausted, only to regroup and work it harder because they are so immersed in an environment that exhorts them to and warns them of the danger if they don't.

Joel Brueseke said...

Yep Kent, I've also seen way too much of that as well. It's sad that, while the Law was supposed to kill and condemn, and Jesus was the answer to that ("Life"), many have supposedly come to Him but have simply put on a different version of the same thing that killed.

The mantra goes something like this, "I'd rather burn out for Christ than rust out."

But either way, they're "out."

Sue said...

This is such a succinct paragraph, Kentster, requiring many years of walking through it to be able to really see how true it is :)

It's quite stark and creepy when you put it like that hehe.

Kent said...

I does seem to take some time doesn't it Sue?

Nicole said...

I know that it took me a while to actually understand and 'get' to know what Freedom truly was. Even while I wasn't attending and 'doing' church, the freedom didn't come until I truly let go of trying and doing things that are spiritually unnatural. To this day, I am still unlearning religion.

In Freedom, Nicole!

Sue said...

Nicole, agreed. I raise a toast to freedom, with you all :)

*Clink*

Nicole said...

Oh let me grab my glass of wine, hold on! LOL! :)

Joel Brueseke said...

DO NOT CLICK ON THE ABOVE LINK FROM FENRISAR!

Someone with another name tried to post a similar link on my blog recently, and it would have put a trojan virus on my computer if I hadn't pulled the plug immediately.

Grateful Girl said...

Kent, this is beautifully discribed. And so true. I think the first few years of the journey help you to see this clearly. Its sort of sad though, don't you think?? I've been wondering if this is the case, then what is the true purpose of the church?? To control? Manipulate? But why??

What do you think??

Grateful Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.