There Are Only Two Kinds of Religions

LAW-BASED RELIGIONS: “I obey so that I will be accepted.” The basis for every religion is some morality I must ascribe to. There are these things that I have to do. If I do them, then God will be pleased with me.  And if I do not do them, God will not be pleased with me. So as long as I can do what’s right and avoid what’s wrong, then God will be pleased with me.

GRACE-BASED RELIGIONS: “I’m accepted, therefore I obey.”

LBR: The motivation of religion is almost always fear and insecurity. For example, the fear of some kind of hell, bad karma, etc…

GBR: The motivation that lays behind the gospel is grateful joy. Heaven is not a place for those who are afraid of hell, it’s a place for those who love God.

LBR: We obey God so that we can get things from God.

GBR: We go to God to get God.  Knowing Him is the “good” of the good news in the gospel.

LBR: When things go wrong in life it is either because God failed or because we failed.

GBR: When things go wrong we struggle, doubt, and wrestle through them knowing that Christ is using them to make us more like Him.

LBR: When you are criticized your world unravels because everything is built on your ability to do right and be a good person.

GBR: When your are criticized your world does not unravel because your worth is in Christ and not your ability to do good or be good. In fact, wasn’t it criticism that brought you to Jesus in the first place?

LBR: Prayer is almost entirely centered on asking god to fix stuff in your life.

GBR: We certainly ask God for things, but Christian prayer is rooted in who God is and what Christ has done for us. Therefore, there should be so much more adoration and praise in our prayers.

LBR: You are either walking with a swagger because you are doing so well that it is hard to be sympathetic to other people who are not doing as well as you are. Or you are defeated and worthless. You think god is frustrated and angry with you because you are not doing well enough.

GBR: You are always growing in humility because you know that you were so bad that God’s son had to die for you, but you are also growing in confidence because he loved you so much that he joyfully endured the cross.

LBR: You typically look with a great deal of disdain on others who are not working as hard as you or are not as good as you are.

GBR: If you really get grace and that God did everything including grant you the faith and repentance, then it becomes nearly impossible to judge because judging would be neglecting the very grace that was given to you.

LBR: You constantly have to build this religious persona. You do not talk about failures and frustrations.

GBR: Because Christ accepts you just as you are, you can be free from the god of religiosity.  As a result you can be more open and free to talk with close brothers and sisters about your failures and frustrations.

LBR: Externally you got all the rules down, but you have no real love for God or for other people.

GBR: You really do love God and love people and that it is because of your love for them that you follow any of the external rules.

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2 Comments

Filed under Law and Gospel, The Gospel, World Religions

2 responses to “There Are Only Two Kinds of Religions

  1. This is a fantastic distinction. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on it.

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