Thursday, February 5, 2009

The bait and switch gospel

We say people can come into the Kingdom through grace, but once they're in, we switch from grace to duty, obligation, and pressure. Though we preach that you can't contribute a thing to your own salvation and that it's all God's gift for you, once you're "safe" however, you'd better keep up and step up. This fallacy is why Paul had to be pointedly firm with God's family in Galatia when he said: "Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?" In today's distorted Christianity, you can come in under God's power, but once you're in the door, it's about your effort to make this thing work. Grace dissolves into exertion. And because you can never do enough, exertion soon turns to shame: "I know I'm supposed to be serving, loving, thinking pure thoughts, but I just can't. It goes well for a while, then I blow it... again." Soon, shame turns into resignation: "I no longer want to try harder. I feel like giving up." And God asks the Church, "Why do you turn my glory into shame?!"
- Jim Robbins (Recover Your Good Heart, page 10)

14 comments:

Amy said...

Bino,
Excellent excerpt from Jim's "Recover Your Good Heart." He says it so truthfully, so eloquently, so well.

Indeed, Grace and Love do not contain contradictions. It is so sad that far, far too many Christian congregations in the System "preach" a contradictory message that in one breath speaks to Father Son Holy Spirit's Grace, yet in the next breath extorts people that they have to "work" for it.

My prayer is that more and more Believers (and non-believers) will come to know the TRUTH of Christ's Love and Grace.

Blessings,
~Amy :)

Bino M. said...

Amy,

started reading this book two days ago. liked it so far.

BTW, it has included your review of the book in the first page. When I saw your name, I was like, "hey this is someone I know!" :) Cool stuff!

Joel B. said...

Bino,

It's quotes like this that made me want to discuss the book with other people.

It's really sad that in the church today... just as it was 2000 years ago... is preaching this bait and switch gospel. Why have we turned God's glory into shame? Why have we turned the good news into a 'gospel' of self-effort? But I think the true gospel does get shared, and I'm thankful for those who put themselves out there and share it unashamedly!

Bino M. said...

Joel - To be honest, when I first heard about this book (I believe it was at Aida's blog), I was little skeptical. The moment people say 'heart', 'good heart' etc, what comes to my mind is 'good feeling', 'good emotions', 'good sentiments' etc. Having some bitter experience from emotionally hyped charimaticsm, I usually shy away from 'feel good' spirituality. I have realized the fact that true spirituality is more than 'feel good' emotions. Our emotions keep changing anyways, so how can we trust them?

Anyways, after reading many reviews, recommendations (including yours) I decided to buy this book and started reading it two days ago. I was quite impressed with the fact that Jim made it abundantly clear in the first chapter itself, that when he says 'heart' he don't simply mean the 'emotions', he means as 'human spirit' (which is united with God's spirit and made new at salvation). That hooked me up and I am only in chapter two, so far I see a lot of 'chicken'. If there is a lot of chicken I don't mind a bone here or there :)

So now, I want to join the online study more than anytime before! (Well, only if you don't cancel it for each football game ;) Just kidding lol)

Leonard said...

Bino, the word on the street is that Joel is going to be doing the Macarena for us this coming Sunday in order to draw a bigger crowd, 7pm our time Don't miss it ... I heard it at FS's place...

Joel B. said...

Bino,

Yep, there are little bits of the book that I don't agree with but like you say, there's an awful lot of chicken. :) And I'm sure that people have to spit out my bones as well!

Anyway, when Jim sent me the study guide, I thought it would be great to discuss with others, whether or not people agreed on every last part of it. So don't worry... no more football games. Looking forward to having you join us!

Leonard,

Actually, I heard you were doing the boot scootin' boogie this Sunday! Can't wait!

theoldadam said...

Lot's of that going around, Bino.

Thanks for pointing it out!

Matthew Daelon said...

Joel,

You da man. I don't know if I have ever found a bone in your blog.

I bet you would be great at making chicken salad!

Aida said...

Bino, I'm glad you're enjoying the book. I agree with Joel. I can always find some points of disagreement but I think Jim does a great job of explaining that we've been given a new heart which is good.

"Grace dissolves into exertion. And because you can never do enough, exertion soon turns to shame"

I think that quote is particularly meaningful. I'm just so thankful that my relationship with God is not based on what I do but it's based on what Jesus has done.

Aida

Bino M. said...

Steve - Thanks!

Matthew - I agree, I too have never found a bone in Joel's blog!

Aida - I am enjoying the book greatly! Thank you for recommending it.

Joel B. said...

We should put our blogs together and call it "boneless chicken." LOL. Really though, any time I've felt like I've had anywhere close to a 100% handle on the truth, I've quickly been shot down. hehe! And that's a good thing. What I love best is when we all share our journeys together and learn from one another.

Leonard said...

Joel, me too.

lydia joy said...

I am now thinking I need to read this book, Recover your good heart. Will it help with all the people I know who think their heart is deceitful still as believers..........I think reading all your thoughts and comments folks have helped me decide this, so thanks!!

....and I third that, no bones on Grace Roots!!

Peace to you!!

Bino M. said...

Lydia- Go for it, you will like it!