Saturday, September 06, 2008

Go To Church, Go To Hell

While reading the story of a church whose sign read, "I kissed a girl and I liked it. Then I went to hell.", what bothered me most wasn't that the sign is offensive to lesbians (and it is). What bothered me most is that the song sucks and now I have it stuck in my head. Just kidding.

What really bothers me most about it is that the sign suggests that the way to not go to hell, is to refrain from wicked behavior (aka "sin"). Refraining from wicked behavior is a good thing, but it's too late to use that as your plan to avoid hell. Romans 3 says,

"But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

Note 3 things:
1) All have sinned, so it's too late to avoid hell by being good.
2) We are justified freely "by His grace", not by our behavior.
3) This righteousness is from God, and it's "apart from law".

The church sign is so misleading that maybe it should have read, "Come to our church if grace doesn't appeal to you - We'll judge you by your works!"

Seriously, try not to sin, but don't think that will keep you from hell. Instead, revel in the fact that Jesus died for you to keep you from hell. And that plan works!

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Blogger Josh Crain said...

Hey, great post my friend.

Emily and I were talking about you and your lovely wife the other day (who will remain nameless due to your well documented paranoia), and we decided that an hour and a half at a pizza joint just isn't enough time to hang out. I hope we can get together again some day.

I wonder how many people have avoided particular churches because of their tacky signs?

September 09, 2008 4:55 AM  
Blogger DErifter said...

Next time you're in Minneapolis....

September 12, 2008 6:08 PM  
Blogger Andrew Clarke said...

I agree with what you say here. We are told we are saved by grace, through faith, and not by works. I thinks that's Ephesians 2. So your point is correct. Still, that church might be making a point that some people overlook: sin separates us from God, and those who glorify or advocate sin are doing something wicked and dangerous, which includes the writer, singer and others involved in this song. No-one is sent to Hell for being homosexual. They are lost to Hell because the reject God, but to advocate certain behaviour is rejecting God. Bless you for speaking out the truth - but it's worth remembering that God calls us to witness at different times, and sometimes from different angles.

September 18, 2008 7:59 AM  
Blogger DErifter said...

Hi Andrew,

First, I'd like to thank you for your comment. I see what you're saying, and it's good to note that different people respond differently to the gospel, and there are many ways to deliver it. In my own opinion, this sign is a poor way to deliver the "good news". There is no mention of grace, or Jesus, or His love for the writer, the singer, or lesbians.

I'm not saying it's wrong necessarily, (well, maybe I am...) but what I am saying for sure is that I don't think it's the most effective way. Thanks again for your comment.

September 21, 2008 10:23 AM  

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