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Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Freelance: FINAL COST, PART II

I recently watched the movie WALL•E with my family. The benign humans were disturbing, though probably only to grown-ups.

Imaginatively fast-forward about 700 years, to a time when an environmentally destitute earth is incapable of sustaining life, and obese humans move on floating amigo-carts. The final cost of reliance on robots without any human exertion becomes lack of sufficient muscle tone and bone density necessary to independent mobility on one's feet.

The animators' tongue-in-cheek portrayal may not be too far off from present spiritual reality in much of mainstream Christianity. In the imaginative world of some churches, seeker-friendly worship services balance a good show with a feel-good message about the health and wealth available by faith.

Even in many evangelical churches, there's no motivation to grow in holiness through sanctification (being cleansed of sinful actions and attitudes), because if you've merely said the "sinner's prayer" and "accepted Jesus," you've reserved your ticket to heaven and need only wait on your ride.

Legalism, pride and hypocrisy have given holiness a bad name, and put tolerance in a good light. While years of snobs treating non-conformists as riff-raff needed correction, we've hit the other extreme when we preach that acceptance of a sinner requires acceptance of sin.

The final cost of reliance on grace without any human exertion becomes lack of sufficient spiritual tone and Word density necessary to dependent relationship with one's Lord.

Make no mistake, to confess Jesus as Lord means
obedience and repentance of sin. To receive the Holy Spirit is to cooperate with His work of sanctifying us from all that is unholy. And true holiness is free of pride.

A people used to numbing pain with medicine rather than searching out and eliminating the cause may be inclined to numb the voice of conscience with feel-good church. If we have truly put our faith in Jesus Christ, and name Him as Lord, we are spiritually cleansed by His blood. But our souls also need cleansing.

In the Old Testament, the three agents of cleansing were blood and water—and as a last resort, fire. We can willingly allow our Lord to cleanse our souls with the
water of the Word by regularly spending the time necessary to read and apply the Bible to our lives. It will come at the cost of time spent on something else.

The Holy Spirit yearns to make the church clean for her Bridegroom. If we are insufficiently cleansed with the water of the Word, should we be surprised if the final cost of cleansing is the loss of whatever must be consumed by

Feedback invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy


  1. Well said my friend, love you.

  2. True, indeed. If more than 80 percent of Americans profess belief in God, why are our jails full, our doors locked and our children scarred by abuse?

  3. Anne, beautifully said. I read this several times--very rich (and true) material here.

    God bless you, and thank you for these wonderful posts.

  4. The way people share Gospel is so wrong. This is the reason why people add Jesus to their life instead of Jesus becoming their life. Preachers who preach holiness and obedience are accused to preach salvation by works.

  5. Natasa, you've done an excellent job of capturing what makes up so much of the problem: adding Jesus to [the mess of] our lives rather than making Him our Lord, our life, our very identity. (I hope you don't mind me expanding your words.) Thank you for the astute comment!


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