Most of [us] think it’s very important that people think [we’re] mature, pure and spiritual.  I would suggest it’s far more important [we’re] not.  We’re so worried that our Christian witness will be hurt by our lack of obedience.  That’s not true.  Our witness will be hurt by a pretense of obedience.  I don’t think I ever met a person who found Christ because a Christian was pure and righteous.  More often it makes them think this thing is only for good people.    As I understand it, we are only beggars who have found bread, pointing other beggars to the place where we found it.  Disobedience hardly ever turns people from Christ.  Dishonesty does.  

-Steve Brown

         

We can’t liberate oursleves very well so what gives us the crazy notion that we can liberate another human being?          

Faith in ourselves, the church, a patron saint, a creed, our prayers, or even an angel of heaven isn’t the freedom God gives—but rather it is the bondage of religion.  Any other recipe for immediate rescue or road to heaven other than the One prescribed by God himself is destined to lead to death in every sense.   Am I saying to my Catholic friends that you cannot find salvation in the sacraments, being Confirmed, giving up pizza for Lent or frequenting the confessional booth?  Yes, I am.  Am I suggesting to my reformed friends that we don’t place our hope in being dedicated as an infant, memorizing the Holy Scriptures or even being water baptized?  Yes, I am.

These may be good, and even things our Lord Jesus commands—but to place our hope in our obedience is to negate our hope in the Cross.  We must not forget the thief on the Cross who had not a minute to do anything but repent and believe.  And Jesus wasn’t kidding around when he assured the scoundrel that he’d be in Paradise with him that very day. 

You may ask—How do you know religion is worthless in saving anyone, Ken?  I am aware that answering a question with a question is not proper or preferred in some circles but it’s appropriate to ask—Who has religion saved?  Who has it delivered from the claws of sin and the faster than fast coming Judgement in which those who are not found in Christ will be thrown into the everlasting lake of fire?

Don’t put your life in the hands of experts
      who know nothing of life, of salvation life.
   Mere humans don’t have what it takes;
      when they die, their projects die with them…

   God frees prisoners—
      he gives sight to the blind,
      he lifts up the fallen…                                                 (Psalm 146:3-4, v8, The Message Bible)

Jesus is our only liberator.

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