I wish the modern American church was less about guilt and more about love, less about goodness and more about faith, less about person and more about people.
When we use sin or The Way of the Master (where you go through the Ten Commandments asking if a person has ever lied or stolen) as an evangelical technique, do we teach people something they do not know? Nobody would deny that they have done things that they regret or would like to fix but when we use abstract “sins” like having lied or stolen, we fail to reach the real human condition. We fail to show them, not that God forgives bad deeds, but that God removes the weight of our sin condition. God takes away the shame and the guilt that separate us from Him. He forgives the acts, sure, but He also begins the process of stripping away the pride and gluttony and greed and lust that lie at the core of us and cause these bad acts and separate us from Him and keep us focused on ourselves. We don’t worship a God who treats symptoms. We worship a God who cures the otherwise fatal and untreatable sickness itself. A God who is the cure. He doesn’t offer to save us from being victims of a holocaust, He offers to save us from being the cause of it. He doesn’t offer to save us from persecution, He promises to save us from becoming persecutors. And when we choose, even after having chosen Him, sin, He doesn’t reject or punish us. He doesn’t expect us to flawlessly go through life without failing or choosing self, He offers to love us every moment, even when we turn away or turn back.
And He doesn’t offer to take us to heaven after we have completed life on earth. He offers to make us part of His kingdom now and reveal its true and full glory to us when we shed this mortal flesh. Every day we grow ever more aware, ever more participant in that Kingdom of Heaven that surpasses and consumes all of time and space. Dying in this life isn’t moving on to a new and better life, it’s entry into the final citadel of a land we have walked in since the day we chose faith and turned to the only One who could save us from what we actually need saving from.