It seems inevitable. Regardless of how or how many Christians gather together, eventually the activity boils down to a set of rules. Relationship, both to God and our fellow man are stifled by the imposition of rote regulations. The measure of a congregation or individual Christians is often determined by the things they do or don’t do.
Christianity is not supposed to be a set of rules. Is it? Christianity is about the Person-God, Jesus, the Christ. There is nothing whatsoever that any human being can do to please God, except believe in Him and the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ, for our sins. When Christianity becomes the juggernaut of human behavior modification, it might as well be added to the ever expanding list of world religions. And no, all those paths do not lead to the same God. John 14:6 Simply attempting to follow prescribed formulas of behavior, in order to obtain acceptance by God and others, is not God’s way. It’s not Christianity
Wait! You might say. Isn’t the Bible the standard of how we should act, or what we should or shouldn’t do? If thats what the Bible has become for you, then it might be too late. You may have joined the ranks of the stoic freedom and fun busters.
How can you tell when your Christianity has become more about statutes and less about the Savior? Here are just a few signs:
- Your pet sin, the one you’ve overcome, is the one you talk about the most and demand others to stop doing.
- You’re known in the church by the things you won’t do.
- Your list of rules for life are the easy ones in the bible. You steer clear of “loving your neighbor as yourself, and loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Luke 10:27
- You and your “accountability partner” talk more about the things that you did and didn’t do than about Jesus.
- Your “being perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect,” is based on a limited sub-set of all that Christ commanded.
- Your evangelism focuses on the rule breaker and not the root of the problem.
- Your “being in Christ” has been substituted by doing things “for” Christ.
A few questions:
1. Is Christianity really just a set of rules on how to live? Why or Why not?
2. Is it possible to follow God’s rules without following God?
3. What other signs would you add to the list above to know if you’ve replaced the Savior with a bunch of statutes?