An Open Letter To My Christian Friends

Friends,

Some of you come to Zoomtard to get some wisdom/interesting ideas he has robbed from someone else. He robbed this from Keller, who robbed it from Spurgeon:

There was a gardener who grew the biggest carrot he had ever grown. And he loved his King so he brought it to him and said, “Sire, this is the greatest and biggest carrot I have ever grown or ever will grow and I want you to have it as a token of my esteem and gratitude.” The King was touched that this simple gardener would do this so as the gardener bowed and got ready to leave the King said, “Wait! I happen to own a plot of land next to your land. You are obviously a good man who will make good use of that. I would like to give that to you!” And the gardener went home rejoicing.

There was a nobleman near by and he had overheard this. He thought to himself, “If you get an acre for a carrot…!” So the next day he brought an incredibly beautiful horse into the presence of the King. And he said, “My Lord, I raise horses. This here is the finest horse I have ever raised and ever will raise. And I want to give it to you as a token of my esteem and gratitude.”

But the King discerned the nobleman’s heart and so he took the horse and simply said, “Thank you very much” and began to walk away. The nobleman stood there with his jaw dropped until the King turned around and said, “Let me explain: that gardener was giving me the carrot but you were giving yourself the horse. ”

Keller says that Spurgeon finished this story by saying: Without the Gospel, you are not clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick. You are clothing yourself. You are feeding yourself. You are caring for yourself. All of your good deeds are all for you. Unless the Gospel has utterly changed your life it is RELIGION! You are not doing anything for God. You are not seeking God. You are seeking things. You are doing it for yourself. You are doing it to get something from God. These two entirely different motivations make the world of difference.

When we became Christians we saw clearly that the Gospel stands utterly oppossed to both religion and irreligion. But sometimes, even when intellectually acknowledging justification by faith, we slip into justification by sanctification. I think it helpful to be reminded again and again that we obey because we have been accepted, we don’t need to obey to be accepted.

Your Correspondent, You can save face but you will never save your soul.

7 Responses to “An Open Letter To My Christian Friends”

  1. James Hackett says:

    Yay! Spurgeon! One up for the baptists. In your face, Presy!

  2. zoomtard says:

    Spurgeon got infant baptised on his death bed. Score: 1-1.

  3. neuro-praxis says:

    Hackett: you’re attending a Presby. You’re getting married in a Presby. I think it is time you SHUTTED UP.

  4. lucas says:

    Zoomtard, I am right in thinking that you say that actual ethically good acts are impossible without grace/gospel. That without it all supposedly ethical conduct would actually be what some philosophers call pyschological egoism -the view that all people’s behaviour is never purely disinterested, such as is contained in your Nietzsche book. For example, that people might give to charity not because they want to help the other person but because they’d get a ‘buzz’, a psychological reward.

    Just a question.

  5. James Hackett says:

    Sorry. Sometimes the old sinful nature just acts up and makes me promote baptists again. I can’t wait until I look forward to the day that I am as truly Christian as Neuro-praxis and Zoomtard.

  6. zoomtard says:

    Well I live with a woman who spits the words “psychological egoist” at me as an insult every now and again. But I don’t think that is an appropriate description of me and it certainly isn’t what I am proposing here.

    This post is addressed to my friends who are Christians. I think that Christians live to a different and higher standard than non-Christians by extension of the kind of claims they make. Their claims about grace would imply that this standard comes as a response to what they have received as oppossed to an effort to receive something.

    So the story by Spurgeon, via Keller, gets to the heart of this. The Christian’s works are different because they are motivated by gratitude, they are freed in a new way by the swampish hold of Neitzche and his moustachioed friends. If our mission as Christians ever slips out of this mould it becomes deadening religion.

    So I guess my point is that the Christian life well lived is the furthest removed from psychological egoism by dint of the reason we do things as Christians.

    Was that incoherent?