Archive | January, 2013

Death to Accountability

28 Jan

We sometimes get a glimpse of the deeper psychological health or state of being of society generally in a microcosm experience. A snap-shot can be revelatory. If we think back we can remember hundreds of them, each of them mini-lessons, of the health and general well-being of our world.

I work out at a well-known fitness facility that has franchises all over the U.S. I joined because the rates are reasonable and its important to stay in shape.

Working out is like life – you only get what you put in. Perseverance is rewarded with gains and advances. The gains and advances are added motivation to the primary fear that if you do nothing with your body it will degenerate until it eventually closely resembles a bloated garden slug. The efforts made bring their own rewards – increased quality of life, improved self-respect, progress. Progress is key.
Soon after enrolling in said fitness facility, I finished working out one day and went to the men’s locker room to weigh myself. Strangely enough, I could not find a scale. I returned to the floor, thinking I would find it amongst the equipment, but it wasn’t there either. Finally, I checked the front desk, thinking that this was the last obvious place. No scale at the front desk.

Confused, I asked the desk worker where the scale was.
Here’s a part of our exchange:

Desk Worker (DW): Oh, we’ve recently remove the scale from the gym. We no longer have one.

Me: What?! You guys run a gym. You’re telling me there’s no scale anywhere in here?

DW: No.

Me: Why?

DW: Management has decided that it’s bad for the clientele.

Me: How is it bad?

DW: They think its bad for morale.

Me: Shouldn’t the client be able to decide whether they want to weigh themselves?

DW: No, because management has decided the clients are intimidated by the scale, and having it in the building interferes with their enjoyment of their workout. We don’t want them to feel judged.

Me: Well, how are they supposed to know if they are making progress?

DW: They can go to the scale at home if they want.

Me: Well, then why can’t they have the same choice at the gym? I mean, if they don’t want to weigh in – they don’t have to. Nobody is forcing them to get up there. Those who want, to can; those who don’t, don’t have to.

DW: Management has decided, sir. There’s a personal trainer who has an office in this complex who will let you use his scale if you like.

Me: (Trying again). Look, I’m not trying to lose weight. The scale isn’t intimidating to me. I’m sure there’s lots of people who are like me who go here who’d like to be able to check. I’d like to gain weight. How am I to tell if I’m making progress or not?

DW: You can use the scale in the personal trainer’s office.

There’s the microcosm. In the most obese country in the world, even people at the gym don’t want to be told their overweight. It’s an unwanted intrusion. They want to hear “you’re doing well”, “you went to the gym, and now its fine if you go home and eat potato chips all day and watch Oprah.” There is even a slogan on the wall at the this particular gym that says, “Judgment Free Zone.”

The scale judges them. It says, “you’re fat.” And that means it has to go.

Death to accountability.

It reminds me of the law of God. You know, the Ten Commandments that say you will not commit adultery, or steal, or kill, or covet, or take God’s name in vain. The same law of God that the Christian church today says is done away with. And the rationale and the reasoning is the same.

Pastors say, “the law is not binding. You are under grace now, so there’s nothing to condemn you.” That’s just another way of saying, “you’re a sinner, and God doesn’t care now if you sin because He died to save you.”

It’s a lie. God didn’t die to save you so that you could continue to live in sin (in violation of His law). He made a sacrifice on your behalf so that He could remake you so that you would stop violating His law, and instead, live in harmony with it and Him. When you come to Him, you come as you are, and He remakes you so that you cease to be a law breaker. God doesn’t want you to continue living in sin anymore than your personal trainer wants you to stay fat. Unless you workout at my gym.

Paul says that there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1. Did Christ Jesus sin? How can we be in Christ Jesus if we are committing adultery? Or worshiping idols? The answer is simple – we can’t. That’s why you have to repent if you sin and ask forgiveness. That’s why the false Christian churches need the further lie of “once saved always saved.” One lie necessitates another, until the Christian no longer is a creature who Christ remakes in His own image, in conformity with His character and requirements. The modern Christian looks just like everyone else, and acts just like everyone else, because the modern churches have gotten rid of the scale of measurement. They have said there is no law. “Righteousness” has become nothing more than a magic cloak to continue doing all the sinful things you used to do.

The law of God doesn’t make you righteous – it’s of a measurement of character and behavior. It is confirmation of whether you are, so to speak, fat. You can’t work to gain God’s favor – its true. The Good News is that He sent His Son to die to save you, because you can’t save yourself. But He didn’t go to all the effort to live and die on your behalf so that He could leave you just the way you are. He came to set you free.

And part of freedom will always be accountability. Romans 6:16,17