Archive for September, 2004

God’s love is Conditional

Monday, September 27th, 2004

I recently heard a sermon by a man called David Pawson who defied anyone to show him where it says “God’s love is unconditional” in the bible.

Initially it was like being hit on the head when you least expect it. However after the initial shock I listened to what his points were and as far as I can see.
He said the gospel has two parts

The first is justification through Jesus’ sacrifice which allows us to approach God. (by using Jesus’ righteousness – because God can not look on sin).

Now the second part of the gospel is that you are now in a position to made righteous like him. This is the Freedom God gives.

The Freedom God talks about is not the freedom we (society) talk about. The Freedom that God talks about is where we are Free to be Holy. Notice We don’t have to be and not that you should be, but you can be Holy with God’s help.

This is the Freedom that God talks about. The Freedom from sin or the Freedom to be Holy

NOW

Ok this may not be radically new to what you have heard before but notice there is not the word love in this gospel.

The point being made is that God is Righteous and so he does what is right. Jesus did what is Right or Righteous, to save us.

Until you are covered by the righteousness of Jesus you are essentially covered in sin. Now God is righteous and he will judge rightly and bring everything to light.

So Where is the ‘love’ that so many people preach

Well God’s love is for the redeemed. He can not ‘love’ you until you are righteous. So once you have repented and follow the ways of Jesus, then you experience God’s love, but not before.

So my title of this piece is God’s love is conditional, and I think it is conditional on you being righteous.

So you can not come “just as you are” to worship God. First of all you must be righteous and then you may boldly approach His throne.

But if you are not righteous, well God has been described as many things including an all consuming fire.

So this is why in the bible you only hear people say “repent and be baptised” and not “follow God because he loves you”.

Any thoughts?

Why do I hate church?

Monday, September 20th, 2004

Every one of my weekends is ruined by church. From Saturday lunchtime I’m ratty, and by Saturday evening I’m very nervous, and often don’t want to go to bed because of what’s coming the next morning. On Sunday lunchtime I’m filled with a deep sense of relief, and I can get on with my life.

Why?

I honestly don’t know. I’ve always been like this. I remember having tantrums about having to go every Sunday when I was quite young. I’ve never enjoyed church, or felt neutral towards it (except for a few weeks when I was at uni when I used to meet a certain young lady on the way).

In the style of “The curious incident of the dog in the night-time,” here is a list of some things I don’t like about church:

  • Talking to people
  • Singing
  • The first is probably a major part of it, and the second is completely minor. But really this doesn’t explain it.

    It’s always been a totally irrational thing for me. I don’t feel like I’ve got any great hurt from previous churches, and I certainly don’t have any problem with my current church. In fact we’ve started going to a new service we’ve set up recently, and almost everyone who goes I either consider a friend, or would genuinely like to know better. I really like the people, and would like to have them round for dinner (after church, of course, so I’m in a good mood).

    I wonder whether it’s a “spiritual” thing, or a “psychological” thing in some way. I think my parents’ attitude to church was always quite ambivalent.

    Does anyone feel like me?

    What can I do about it?