On Sunday I preached from 1st Peter 3:13-22 and the magnificent line that Christ Jesus died for sin “once and for all”. The destruction of a guilt-based religious system is an ongoing project. First Peter is one of the tools. We daily sin much and are in need of forgiveness and we receive it with a joyful grateful hearts and move out into our world as God‘s servants with joyful grateful hearts. Christ’s death once and for all changed our relationship with God. There are those who “with determination will drag those around him/her into grim ‘obedience’ to what they view as Christ-like behavior”. The baptized consider their life is hidden with God in Christ Jesus and do what they do in a joyful obedience to God’s will in Christ.
I had so many comments on the sermon that I have to give a bit of information that was not in the sermon itself. I mentioned in this sermon that you might go to a rally or a convention and see a skit that portrays a person being attacked by peer pressure and going off doing things that some people might find unChristian. The skit will include Jesus as a quiet ghostly figure in the background as the star of the skit causes Christ to suffer again and again as he breaks commandments or some kind of “Christian decorum”. I saw this skit described in a commentary by a pastor named Karl Jacobson from Minneapolis. I immediately went to my high school yearbook to see if I could remember him because I have been to that skit in my high school days. In fact as I look back at my memory I’ve been to the skit many times. It is always the fall back position of the legalist who, “with determination will drag those around him/her into grim ‘obedience’ to what they view as Christ-like behavior”. That magnificent line was sent to me by a parishioner who seems to wake up everyday with an effervescent grace.
My intention was to point out the fact that the people who are used to be viciously attacking Christianity because it was a patriarchal guilt trip, are the ones who pontificate to the rest of us about our conscience. If you don’t wear a mask you want people to die. If you sit out in your backyard by yourself without a mask you want people to die. If you demand that our economy get back up and running so more people don’t suffer from bankruptcies and loss of businesses you want people to die. Here is a policy and if you don’t like it you want to kill grandma.
The nanny state is bad enough, but a “church lady” ruling class is insufferable.