Friday, January 28, 2005

The yoke's on me

Bad puns R us!

Anyway, back to the topic of Christianity being an easy yoke, a light burden.

What does Jesus mean? Elsewhere, He talks of persecutions, suffering. If we look at His own path, the suffering was immense. So, it can't mean the physical events of this life - bad things do happen to good people. In fact, they have to - otherwise, following Jesus would deteriorate into a kind of "get out of jail free" faith. Believe so life will be easy and pain-free! God wouldn't have our hearts, just be our contingency plan.

Then what was the burden? The yoke?

The religion of the Pharisees.

I put it this way, because I don't want to confuse what the Pharisees were doing with the Jewish faith. It was like a thick coating of man-made junk put over the top of Judiasm. Law upon law, rule upon rule, burden upon burden, yoke upon yoke. A life dominated by the dictates of those who made it their profession to follow those dictates, while the average working person had no hope of being able to devote the time and energy needed to "measure up".

Jesus hated this.

It's clear to me by His statements to and about the Pharisees. I won't repeat them here, but He called them "sons of iniquity" for starters.

Then what was Jesus' yoke? His burden?

"I love you. Come to me. Rest. You are forgiven."

So, my former student, who walked away from the Christian faith because it was too hard, walked away from what? It certainly wasn't the words of Jesus.

We, the Christian community, have become the Pharisees, with our official and unofficial lists of what a "good Christian" should be (don't drink, don't smoke, don't watch The Simpsons, whatever...). You could probably write out a list of "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" from your own experience. Some biblically defensible, but really, bottom line, a thick coating of man-made junk laid over the top of "I love you. Come to me. Rest. You are forgiven."

God was courageous enough to give us the freedom to walk away, or walk to Him. Why do we insist upon junking this up?

Is there more to the Christian life that this? Certainly. But let us let that be the work of the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures upon each of our hearts.

We would each be a bit messier on the outside, but probably a lot cleaner on the inside.


Amber Lynn 11:17 PM, January 28, 2005  

I got all riled up because of the exact thing you are writing about tonight: Rules. Rules some Christian Cultures are claiming are doctrine. I did let my emotions get in the way when I was writing the post, but I thought you might like it.

After I cooled my jets, the next post was more constructive as to what SHOULD be done instead of me focusing on what was wrong.

Have a great day. Keep up the good work.

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