Thursday, January 24, 2013

An iron collar

It has often struck my mind with great force, that many professors of religion are deplorably and utterly mistaken on this point. Their real feeling is that Christ's service is an iron collar—an insufferably hard yoke. Hence, they labour exceedingly to throw off some of this burden. They try to make it out that Christ does not require much, if any, self-denial—much, if any, deviation from the course of worldliness and sin. O, if they could only get the standard of Christian duty quite down to a level with the fashions and customs of this world! How much easier then to live a Christian life and wear Christ's yoke!

But taking Christ's yoke as it really is, it becomes in their view an iron collar. Doing the will of Christ, instead of their own, is a hard business. Now if doing Christ's will is religion, (and who can doubt it?) then they only need enough of it; and in their state of mind they will be supremely wretched. Let me ask those who groan under the idea that they must be religious—who deem it awful hard—but they must—how much religion of this kind would it take to make hell? Surely not much! When it gives you no joy to do God's pleasure, and yet you are shut up to the doing of His pleasure is the only way to be saved, and are thereby perpetually dragooned into the doing of what you hate, as the only means of escaping hell, would not this be itself a hell? Can you not see that in this state of mind you are not saved and cannot be?—Charles Finney

<idle musing>
That seems to be the attitude of far too many seeker-friendly churches...God deliver us from ourselves!
</idle musing>

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