Coffee Cup Theology

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I have a relationship with Christ.
And my boss.
And my landlord.
And my president.
And Satan.

All are "relationships" so they're all equal. (We'll most likely agree that's incorrect.)

My point is that the word "relationship" is meaningless unless you know what the relationship is defined by.

My relationship with my boss is defined by my contract.
My rental agreement
My president...the Constitution.

My relationship with Christ is defined by the Christian religion.

Religion (Merriam-Webster, in part)

the service and worship of God or the supernatural

I serve and worship God. This is a good thing.

a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

Attitudes and beliefs:

Belief in God (there is no such thing as an atheistic Christian)
Belief in Christ’s deity and humanity (1 John 4:2-3; Rom. 10:9)
Belief that you are a sinner in need of God’s mercy (1 John 1:10)
Belief that Christ died on the cross and rose bodily from the grave for our sins (1 Cor 15:3-4)
Belief that faith in Christ is necessary (John 3:16)

And practices

Corporate worship

This, in part, defines my "relationship" with Christ.

He's not my landlord, He is my GOD.

I cannot reject "religion" without rejecting all He has done.

Lactantius, in his "Divine Institutes" (IV, xxviii.) wrote, "We are tied to God and bound to Him [religati] by the bond of piety..."

Augustine, in his treatise "On the True Religion", says: "Religion binds us [religat] to the one Almighty God"

And we turn to Scripture:

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world

This is what you deny, when you deny "religion."

If you still want to reject "religion," then reject our shared beliefs, our shared practices, reject worship and service of God, reject being bound to Him.

(By the way, this "religion" also defines my relationship with Satan. I was I am not. He s my enemy and he is defeated by Christ.)

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this Resurgence post, "You Are Not Jesus" nails it.

the more I hear fake gospels, the more I long for the real one.

The gospel is the good news that God sent his perfect Son Jesus Christ to live, die, and resurrect on behalf of sinners, to save their souls and reconcile them to God.

As important as it is to do good works, care for the poor, nobody becomes a Christian and enters into eternal life because we gave somebody a sandwich; They get saved because they hear the preaching of the news of Jesus.

I love the way Paul explains it in Titus 2:10-11.  He gives the "law" (to do list) and then gives us the "done list"

"...but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people..."

It is because we have Christ, that we do good works.  But our good works are not the good news.

“Preach The Gospel At All Times; When Necessary, Use Words” falsely attributed to St. Francis of Assisi

It’s right up there with such classics as “Give someone your phone number; when necessary use numerals” or “Give someone a meal; when necessary use food.”
The saying is much loved by those who think that Christianity is more about what Jesus would do than that which Jesus has done.  Borrowed from MGPCPASTOR.

The more I hear/read it, the more I want it erased from the memories of everybody who has had it inflicted on them.

What does it mean?

WORKS - ARE the Gospel.  If I work hard enough, well enough, loving enough...the person for whom I am working, will find salvation without my using words.  If you're doing it right, you won't need words.

salvation by osmosis.

My good deeds is your good news...and that means you're screwed.

News flash:  the "good news" is not about what I can do, it's about what Christ has done.

"A Christian is one who make it easier for other people to believe in God."

I believe that a Christian is a person who has believed in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation and eternal life.

Is "making it easier for other people to believe" part of the mission?  In a way, yes.  But in a big way, no.

It's my job to preach the gospel.  It's the job of the Holy Spirit to regenerate the heart and draw people to the Father.  So, in a way, the preaching of the gospel IS helping others to believe.

But I suspect what is meant by "make it easier for other people to believe" is really

"make the gospel so non-threatening to the lifestyle of sinners that it becomes meaningless to save, but people can go on believing that they're okay because nobody ever made it clear that they weren't."

There is a cost to believing, and we are to count the cost.  If we make the gospel "easy," when life isn't, faith is shallow.