Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How does the gospel operate? Misunderstanding the operation of the gospel; why so many evangelicals are in bondage: Part II

This is a second article in a series about the operation of the gospel vs. the operation of religion. The first of the series can be read at this location. I really recommend that you read the first one found at the link above if you have not already done so, as this article builds on the foundation that the first one laid. It examines the operating force in the gospel as compared and contrasted with the operating force of religion. It establishes the fact that the operating force in the gospel is grace and the operating force in religion is the law. The operating force is the same as the catalyst. It is the igniting principle that makes the gospel effective. It is the thing that allows the gospel message to actually affect change. Paul described it in this way in Romans 2:4: "Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?" The transforming catalyst of the gospel is grace which alone establishes a peaceful, trusting relationship with the Father.

I have heard so many pastors and ministers tell me that the people cannot handle unrestricted grace. The most common thing I hear is this: "I know that God's grace is prime, but if I teach the people this they will just sin more. If I teach the real truth of the gospel the people will not be restrained. They will not give enough. They will quit attending services.... and on and on. That kind of thinking is just submitting to the religious spirit and will kick in the operating force of religion. The catalyst for religion is fear and guilt. The problem is that fear and guilt will always create bondage. That is precisely the thing that makes current evangelical dogma so destructive. It is why so many people are on a treadmill, burned out, and miserable. They are afraid to get off the treadmill because they have been taught that getting off the treadmill is paramount to abandoning God. THIS IS ANOTHER POISONOUS LIE. All of the bondage trappings of religion have absolutely no value in establishing a peaceful, trusting relationship with the Father.

It should be obvious that if one has to keep religion engaged to control people that the dogma is really not beneficial for the people. Most evangelical leadership freely admit that they cannot teach grace because it will cause chaos and they will lose control over the people. Well, here is a novel thought; if what leadership is doing to maintain the health and life of the church and includes fear and guilt as the motivating method, then perhaps the health and life of the church is not important. Listen to me church leader... if you have to employ fear and guilt to motivate people, then you are not presenting good news. Good news does not need fear, guilt and intimidation to keep people interested in it. "Rom 8:15  For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father!"

The bondage comes from instilled fear of God the Father. The ones instilling the fear are using the operation of religion to control people. It amazes me that so many sermons, and so many bible studies are concerned with instilling fear for the sake of motivation and control. This comes from an erroneous view of scripture. It comes from focusing on the scripture being a legal constitutional document and not the story of redemption. As the first article of this series explains, the operation of the gospel is to completely do away with fear. The Apostle John explained it this way: 1Jn 4:18 "There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. How do you reach perfection in love? The answer is so simple. IT IS BY BELIEVING THE GOSPEL! If you are continually being subjected to sfear by those trying to control you, I have just one piece of advice... "come out from among them and be ye separate" Stay away from the uncleanliness of the operation of religion, Focus on the operation of the gospel and learn to enjoy a peaceful, trusting relationship with your Father in Heaven!


  1. Very good article, as was the first

  2. Straight to the point. Sadly enough, people fall prey to religious addicts who carry on someone's legacy that was based on projecting fear and intimidation. The frightening question is will that "cycle" ever end. You must understand the differences between religious practices (bondage) and the pure Gospel (liberty) or you will never know His love toward us and that He is a pure and loving Father. I thank God everyday for understanding the difference. Far too many practices and traditions. Enjoyed this blog. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks for you comments Deborah! You are so right. Most people are afraid to look and see for themselves, and those who have been "called"? (I'm not so sure) want to control people, and the best way to control people is with fear.


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