Saturday, March 18, 2006

Avoiding the “Two Thieves” part 2

Here is more application of the metaphor of the two thieves from the Web site of Sanctuary Church in Seattle (reformatted slightly):

The physical world:
The moralist is afraid of or indifferent to physical pleasure and wholeness.
The hedonist makes it an idol.

The gospel leads us to see that God has invented both body and soul and so will redeem both body and soul. Thus the gospel leads us to enjoy the physical and fight against sickness and poverty.
Moralism makes relationships into a blame-game and a never ending need to earn our love; often creates "co-dependency,” a form of self-salvation through neediness.
Liberalism reduces love to a negotiated partnership for mutual benefit.

The gospel leads us to sacrifice and commitment, but not out of a need to convince ourselves we are acceptable. So we can love the person enough to confront, yet we stay with the person when it does not benefit us.
Moralism takes the approach of Job's friends, laying guilt on the self. "I must be bad to be suffering."
Liberalism lays the fault at God's doorstep, claiming he is either unjust or impotent.

The gospel shows us that God redeemed us through suffering. He suffered not that we wouldn’t suffer, but that in our suffering we could become like him.
Pastor Rod

“Helping you become the person God created you to be”

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