Post details: I never liked "fire and brimstone" sermons


Permalink 01:46:13 am, Categories: By Trent, GraceHead counseling, 406 words   English (US)

I never liked "fire and brimstone" sermons

by Trent from March 06
One of the most striking things about Jesus is that He sought out the despised, and socially unacceptable and made a point of being their friend and trusted ally. He loved them just as they were, and that love transformed their sinful life. Meanwhile there was no group that Jesus sought out to disrupt more then the hyper-religious elite whom were preoccupied with pointing fingers at these easily picked upon people.

In our day and time, for as many of us that have Jesus living within we should expect adoption of this same charitable attitude to the downtrodden, and the same mournful opposition about the judgmental elitists in religious high-places of our day.

In the heart of every man, there is a carnal ugliness that wants to mistreat others for our own sick pleasure. There is nothing good about it, but yet we are pulled to find a wrong-doer and to point them out just to stand in the spotlight of righteous indignation. I suppose that if we can call them "bad," then we will get to be exalted as "good" for not living as they do. I shudder to describe this, because I know that only God's grace can free me of this darkness.

Luke 18:10-14 (NIV)
"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

May the Lord Jesus make us into people like the tax-collector with no regard for our relative standing compared to other men. May we be free of judgment, and harsh nit-picking criticism. May our finger only point to our own sin.

Lord, teach us Your humble heart, to never desire to be exalted, and to be ever vigilant to do our creative best to exalt even the least person before ourselves for Your sake. Amen

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Comment from: anonymous julie [Visitor] ·
It's easier to drive fear into people than love...
Permalink 03/26/06 @ 21:07
Comment from: Rich [Visitor] ·
One of my favorite books in "The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning which says that this book is not for the super-spiritual,not for legalists who would rather surrender control of their souls to rules than run the risk of living with union with Jesus but it is for the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out not those who think they are holier than everybody.
These people who judge and condemn are telling lies about God.
Permalink 03/27/06 @ 19:31
Comment from: anonymous julie [Visitor] ·
"These people who judge and condemn are telling lies about God."

Permalink 03/29/06 @ 22:35

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