Girls Write Out
Monday, February 19, 2007

Thomas Hardy is my favorite author. He's a little anti-church, but he doesn't say anything that didn't happen because religion took precedence over the Gospel. I'm reading his biography now and sadly, a lot of the horrible sequences in his books were too close to his real life. The church damaged Thomas Hardy and it lives on in his literature.

As a Christian, I'm shocked what people do in the "name of religion". How we've forgotten that it isn't our place to judge, it's our place to spread His Word. The other day Oprah had this book on called "The Secret". The gist of it is that we are all matters of energy (um, thank you Poppy in Calm, Cool & Adjusted!) and that we attract the type of energy we are.

Let's say your church is a ball of energy. Is it attracting with love and acceptance? Or pushing away with rules and judgment?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not the soft, cushy type. I'm much more Saint Paul than Saint Peter, but Jesus healed on the Sabbath because He cared more about humanity than the rules. I don't think anyone was ever won over to the Gospel by rules, ya think?
posted at 10:52 AM  
  Comments (7)
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At 11:13 AM, Blogger Kayla said...

My church is learning and trying to get out of their judgemental ways, but everyone (especially the pastors) has gotten so deep into worrying about appearances that it's a long, hard fall. My head pastor nearly burned his house down last week, the music director had a bad car wreck, and one of the assistant pastors is just having a bunch of issues coming his way. It's sad that they have to go through terrible things to "get it", but if that's what it takes, then that's what it takes.

I never really had the opportunity to get caught up in all of the mess. My parents don't have a lot of money and do grunt work at the church all the time, so that's kept me grounded and I'm very thankful for it.

Have you read Revolution by George Barna? I loved it.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Annie said...

Kristin, I'm in a ton of theology classes at school right now, in my final semester at college to be a Director of Christian Education, and we've talked alot about the balance of Law and Gospel. Most Law is meant to be a curb, mirror and guide to our actions and behaviors. The Law is the rules. They are meant to show us the error of our ways, so that that we can confess to God, who will always forgive us. The Gospel is that forgiveness. Martin Luther says that the Gospel is anything that proclaims the story of Christ and what He has already done for us. God loves us so much that He forgives us every time we sin. We are human beings who need rules nad boundaries, but you're right that i would highly doubt if anyone was ever brought to Christ through those rules. Rules are legalistic. The jews in Jesus day tended to be more legalistic that Gospel centered. Jesus was a rebel who taught through love and compassion and that is what the Gospel is all about. Pretty cool, huh?

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Winter Peck said...

I actually grew up in a church where the pastor was more concerned about the rules than he was about the Gospel. The members of that church began to run away, needless to say, he was soon fired. Today that same church can barely hold everyone who comes on Sunday. The pastor is getting it right, not shoving rules down everyone's throats.

To this day, I'm leary of anyone trying to tell me their opinion is the gospel truth, especially when it doesn't stack up to the Bible.

At 1:51 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

There really is a balance, don't you think? Because some seeker churches can be so "soft" on how we should conduct ourselves that they don't show any light to the world either. Balance is always hard for us humans, no matter what the cause. : ) Kristin

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Amy said...

When the rules or the law gets elevated to god-like status, there is definitely a problem. I think it's like Robertson McQuilken said, "It is easier to go to one consistent extreme or the other than to remain in the center of biblical tension."

At 5:18 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

It is my opinion that the rules set in some churches are by men (or women) who themselves have a weakness in whatever area the rule is in. For example: women have to wear skirts all the time (yes, there are still churches that preach this!) to me says that somewhere sometime a man had a problem with lust and made the women in his congregation cover everything up. There is such freedom in Christ! There is no need to be bound by the laws of man.

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Jaime Wright said...

I wore my skiing scarf when I sang for special music on Sunday because our church was freezing. I'm sure I'll get a letter saying my cargo pants and scarf was disrespectful. ... but I don't own a dress ... that's where legalism starts to urk me. Next time I'll probably wear TWO SCARVES and my hiking boots.

... unfortunately, it's people like me who make things worse. Yes, Lord, I will bite my tongue...


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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