Slavery to Christ (Or, Why I Went to Church Today)

Last week I wrote I Didn’t Go to Church Today and explained why I thought that wasn’t a sin. I wanted to be transparent with you about how I live as a Christian. And I wanted to share a little about what Protestants have traditionally called, Christian Liberty, or Liberty of Conscience. Martin Luther first brought attention to this topic in On Christian Liberty, 1520, and you can find a brief and very helpful summary in Chapter 20 of the Westminster Confession of Faith, 1647.

Notre Dame Crucifix

But, today I did go to church and I want to tell you why.

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Why WWJD Isn’t WJWD

❯ WRONG

Imagine that a deaf person followed Jesus around and watched everything He did, but heard none of what He said, and then wasn’t around to see the last week of Jesus’ life at all (that whole cross and resurrection thing). And then, imagine that this person came up with a slogan to summarize what he thought was the point:

WWJD – let’s all be like Jesus!

So…

If I do what Jesus would do, it’ll make be a better person? It’ll make me more moral? It’ll make me better buds with God? It’ll get me into heaven?

No. No. No. NO!

About the only thing WWJD does is make me feel a bit more smug about myself. (As if I need any help with that!)

❯ RIGHT

The trouble with WWJD is, it just plain misses the point. Jesus and His Apostles pretty clearly focused on WDJD—What DID Jesus Do?—as in, what did Jesus do for me, what did He accomplish, and why does it matter?

And that would be…

He died on the cross.

So?

So, He volunteered to die; he didn’t have to, and He did it because He loves me.

How nice. So?

So, that’s pretty great…

So?

So, He must have had a good reason for doing that. He must’ve wanted to accomplish something important.

Go on…

So, He accomplished something… for me that I couldn’t do for myself. I was supposed to, but I couldn’t. He stepped in and did it for me.

And that would be…

He rescued me from God’s wrath, which is the penalty that my sins deserve, so I could be God’s child.

Bingo! And?

He freed me from the power and guilt of sin…

and from the power of Satan that ruled me…

and from the Law that condemned me.

And?

He made me a new creation by His Spirit who gives me power to obey Jesus, my King and Savior.

And?

He made me part of His Church which He calls to obey His Great Commandment to love God and neighbor, and to obey His Great Commission to make disciples around the world by proclaiming WDJD.

And?

He promises to never abandon me, always to favor me, and guide me in this life, and to welcome me into His eternal kingdom in the next.

And?

That… that pretty much covers it…

Well alright, then.

So, I’ll just scratch WWJD from my vocabulary?

Yeah, it’s WJWD.


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What Jesus and His Apostles Taught About Giving (And How You Can Find Joy in It)

This post is part 3 of a 3-part series on tithing and giving:

  1. Why the Apostles Didn’t Teach Tithing (And Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About It)
  2. Why Your Church Does Teach Tithing (Any Why You Sometimes Feel Guilty About It)
  3. What Jesus & His Apostles Taught About Giving (And How You Can Find Joy in It)

If you’re average like me you’re starting to think about some new goals and maybe some outrageous hopes for the year. Perhaps you’re thinking about new financial goals for earning, saving, spending and giving. If so, this final post in my series on tithing might come in handy.

Review

Part 1 – Why the Apostles Didn’t Teach Tithing (And Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About It) asks why the Apostles never mentioned tithing even though they touched on every other subject necessary for the life of the Church including money matters like stewardship, charity, and supporting the teaching ministry of the gospel.

Part 2 – Why Your Church Does Teach Tithing (And Why You Sometimes Feel Guilty About It) asks why so many churches treat tithing like it’s the 11th commandment, or even emphasize it more than the 10 Commandments.

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