Beating ourselves up…

A friend recently sent a brief video of what is at first glance a bizarre religious practice from the middle east, in which men beat themselves with sharpened chains…

I said “at first glance” above, because as I reflect on it I realize that I know many Christians who practice “self-flagellation” in one form or another – whenever they attempt to purify themselves through good behavior or self denial. What those young men do in the video is different only in degree from our feeble human attempts to earn, or deserve, or perform, or be “good enough” to gain, what God has freely provided for us in Christ Jesus.

What’s sad is that some Christians tend to wear their self-administered beat downs like a badge of honor, and put them on bumper stickers, t-shirts, and into children’s ministry curriculum to try to recruit more followers to their system of works.

It’s safe to say that almost every Christian I know would declare that they are saved by grace – that there was nothing they could do to save themselves, or to earn their salvation. Yet many of them will turn around and try to live by works – as if the thing that could never save them will actually keep them saved.

And that’s the Christian version of self-flagellation…

We are saved by grace, and we live through Jesus’ life in us. “Christ in us” is our hope of glory, not our ability to do good or be good.

Advertisements
  1. March 3, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Great thoughts Scott! I am doing a preaching series on “Lies we believe” right now and this week I am tackling the lie “I am not good enough.” This is something that we all struggle with to some degree or another. As you rightly said, “What those young men do in the video is different only in degree from our feeble human attempts to earn, or deserve, or perform, or be “good enough” to gain, what God has freely provided for us in Christ Jesus.” Amen!

  2. BIG POPPA
    March 3, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Nicely put! You gotta love grace!

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: