Religious moralistic behaviour modification stinks. It keeps us from encountering the True Gospel. I for one am questioning whether I ever really encountered this True Gospel or was I just caught up in a feel-good club (which I liked very much by the way) but had no real effect in exposing my very real need for a saviour. I can remember countless times singing alongside others, caught up in the emotion, tears streaming down my face, declaring my undying love to a god for saving me. Looking back, this, to a great measure would have been filtered through a backdrop of material middle-class privilege. A hidden ‘security’ that I could easily fall back on if this god didn’t fit with my idol-infested life. After all, I have an earthly family that loves me deeply (this is true), friends who declare their love and commitment to me no matter what. They would come to my rescue if the going got tough. Surely that’s the way God works. Don’t you know, he knows the desires of MY heart.
It seems we must descend. We must get to the bottom. The end of ourselves. The end of our addiction to everything that props up our lives and fuels our idol-fetish. There seems to be no other way to encounter this True Gospel. Without loss. Without despair. Without some sort of journey into hopelessness, without a very real revelation that we’re buggered without God, this ‘walk with god’ is merely an anesthetic-induced illusion. This I fear has been the case for much of the 1st half of my life. Maybe this is the genuine mercy and love of God. He knows we try EVERYTHING to show we’re in control and that we’ve got it all together. This furrowed-brow, purse-lipped, clenched-fist, middle-finger-up-to-the-world posture ultimately contributes to our downfall. A downfall that must happen. An ego that needs to be smashed to smithereens. Maybe then the Good News will really be good news.