10/13/08

Salvation by Numbers

So, I am going to try to make this somewhat of a quick thought. I am in a small group of guys that meets usually every Wednesday. My friend who facilitates this little group is an extremely skilled counselor trained by Larry Crabb. Because of that, Larry tends to get some "press" in our group... lol.

The other day we read a very short excerpt from one of his books about how to be free from pressure in your life. While no analogy is perfect, this little concept made me think.

Larry writes that people operate from one of two "laws." First, the Law of Linearity describes the lifestyle of thinking that if I do A & B the result will be C. Apply that to a spiritual paradigm and we slip into thinking that as long as I don't: smoke, drink, have sex outside of marriage, cheat on my taxes, kick my dog, etc... or do: serve food at the shelter, support my family, lend a cup of sugar to my neighbor (literally or figuratively as long as it doesn't violate #3 in the don't list), go to church, pet my dog, etc... we will receive favor from God. That favor can either be blessings (as in health, wealth, happiness, etc.) or the big one, salvation. The Law of Linearity makes logical sense, but it also is based on performance and inherently brings pressure.

The second is the Law of Liberty. This law is not motivated by gaining C (the favor/blessing/salvation). The goal is simply to dwell in whatever God has for us... good/bad/ugly (great movie by the way). It sounds a little passive-aggressive (hence no perfect analogy) but it also takes away the idea that we have to perform. The scary part is that there is no longer anyway to be able to say with certainty that we can predict God.

For me, it makes me continue to rethink salvation. For too long I have thought of "being saved" as being so easy "a caveman could do it" (too bad there is no such thing as cavemen, right Ken Hamm? I hope you caught my sarcasm). It's as simple as ABC: admit, believe, commit and you'll be saved. Ultimately, this puts a formula onto God's actions, makes God predictable, and therefore removes the possibility that the god of this type of theology is actually God (at least in my book... which will be in stores a month from never). It is hard for me to believe in a God that I can predict. So, I think the Law of Liberty is key in truly submitting ourselves to a God of mystery, unpredictability, danger, adventure, heart-break, and the like. I want to want what this God wants. I want to move away from wanting to figure out how to get what I want. I do this in too many of my human relationships already... it's called manipulation and I am tired (literally, it's exhausting) of doing it in any relationship, let alone my relationship with God who sees right through my attempts.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Dave,
This is a great post! I'm glad you have heart.
Peace and all good things!
-MC