The Burden(Weight)Of Religion.

Here is an example of..L-E-G-A-L-I-S-M at its worst.This comes from a bulletin from a large church in the southeastern U.S.This”test”was on page one.

Check Yourself

If people were like you:

–Would they be in Sunday School next Sunday?

–Would they be on time?

–Would they bring a Bible?

–Would they have studied the lesson?

–Would they bring an offering?

–Would they attend the preaching service?

–Would they make an effort to worship during the service?

–Would they bring someone with them?

–Would they invite a new member or visitor?

Give yourself 10 points for every question that you could answer “yes”.If your score is 100–you are a perfect example!If 90-you’re just about right;80-you’re slipping;70-watch your step;60-you’re an emergency case.

Six successful Sundays in Sunday School continues this Sunday.Be there!

In the book…The Subtle Power of Spititual Abuse by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen they ask the following questions:

After taking this test,is your spiritual burden heavier,or lighter?Do you feel more sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit,or to the pressure of this pastor?

The Apostle Paul went to war over spiritual scoring systems,as we read in Galatians 5:”It was for freedom that Christ set us free;therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery”(v.1).But how many of us have been taught to fear “too much grace”?How many of us suffer from a fear that if we take the “yoke”of spiritual performance and release the load of guilt and pressure,what in the world will restrain sin?What’s going to motivate people to obey God?

We believe the Holy Spirit of God who lives in them is fully able to do that.We believe that God is capable of motivating a person to live an obedient life.As Paul said in Philippians.1:6,”For I am confident of this very thing,that He who began a good work in you will perfect it.”And again  in Philippians.2:13,”For it is God who is at work in you,both to will and to work for his good pleausure.”Galatians.5:16 also says,”But I say,walk by the Spirit,and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”(pages 147-148)

Now,it is not wrong to accomplish all of the tasks that are listed above.But the point is,we should do this as a matter of obedience and not to score points with the pastor or God.Our Sovereign Lord knows why we do what we do.He examines our motives.If we make a perfect score on the test,our Lord doesn’t love us any more or any less.

The burden of religion motivates us to try and “SCORE POINTS WITH GOD.”

 

There is a story about a man who went to heaven.He got to the gate and St.Peter said,”You know,you need a thousand points to get in here.”

The man said,”I’ve been going to church all my life and nobody ever told me that!”

St.Peter said,”I don’t care,you must have a thousand points to get in here.”

The man said,”How do I earn points?By doing good things?”

St.Peter said,”What have you done to earn your points?”

The man said,”Well,I grew up in a Christian home and I went to Sunday school every Sunday for years.In fact I have a string of Sunday school medals that go to the floor.When I got older,I went to a Christian school and then to a Christian college.Then I went on to graduate school and became a banker.I have always been supportive of the  church.I cared about the church all of my life—-supported my pastor when others didn’t.”

He said,”I supported missionaries.As a banker,I cared about my community.I wrote low-income mortages.I gave loans to people who were in desperate need.I often gave out ofmy own pocket.At first I gave ten percent of my income to God,but as I became more affluent I was giving seventy percent.”

The man went on,making his case before St.Peter.”I had three children-two boys and a girl.One of my boys is a preacher and the other is a missionary.My girl is married to a missionary in a Third World country.”

“I always went to church on Sunday morning,Sunday evening,and Wednesday night.Not only that,I worked with the Salvation Army.I rang the bell at Christmas——–when it was really cold.And not only did I support missionaries with my money,I went to the mission field and supported them with my encouragement.”

Then he turned to St.Peter and said,”How amI doing?”

St.Peter said,”Thats ONE POINT.What else have you done?’

The man said,”GOOD LORD,have mercy!”

St Peter said,”YOU’VE GOT IT!COME ON IN.”

 

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