The purpose of this site is to communicate the Gospel truth that it took so long for me to learn and understand. I’ve gone to many churches over the years and found that most of them are based on legalism. By legalism I’m referring to the theology where Christians stay on God’s good side by their actions and attitudes. It can be as basic -and impossible- as doing the best possible to keep God’s laws and commandments. It can also be as subtle as having to perform certain spiritual gifts, be baptized in a particular manner, pray and read the Bible a minimum time per day, or following well meaning traditions such as not drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco or dancing.
It all sounded so reasonable at the time. The ranking members of those churches had great sounding reasons and arguments for what they believed. And I believed it too for a long time. But I thank God that He showed me that all of it was actually works of my flesh -wood, hay and stubble.
That doesn’t mean that the people in those assemblies were lost or that they were useless to God. No! In fact some of them have been the dearest of friends. However, they were missing out on the blessings found while living everyday life in God’s grace. In regard to their faith, their lives were primarily motivated by guilt. It came basically in two forms: Fear of lost fellowship with God and fear of condemnation by other church members.
One Sunday my wife and I were listening to a sermon that was part of a series on keeping the Ten Commandments. The preacher was saying how we need to keep the law. And that week the particular law was adultery. He went on to say that he and one of the elders were driving in the neighborhood and an attractive woman was wearing a bikini while walking down the street. To the other man, he made an excuse about having to go back to his house for something forgotten; the truth was that he wanted to take another look. He explained that this was an example of adultery which is common to men. (Although that part is true, the next part is what drove me to asking God for truth.) To make things right with God again required praying to Him for forgiveness and repenting from those thoughts.
“What’s was wrong with that message?” I kept asking God. I want to know what’s real! Not long after that I heard a message on the radio where a man was teaching about God’s grace. He told about his own similar experiences where the normal things in Christian life seemed so difficult -actually impossible to bear. He read long passages directly out of the Bible and he put them in context. The topics he presented were the very ones that I found so difficult. If you are wondering what they were, they are all covered on the various pages listed in the section I call “Foundation” topics.
Please read them with a heart that wants to hear His Spirit speaking to you through His Word. Years of being trapped in various forms of legalism (sometimes I just call it religion) have brought out the desire to express the freedom we have as Christians. We can live as God meant us to live: led by the Spirit instead of by the Law and free to serve one another in love.
Your thoughts and comments about My Redeemer are important –at least those which are intended to be constructive. If you wish to suggest additional topics or note corrections, please contact me by e-mail.
doug@MyRedeemer.org (include “MR Website” in the subject).