Don’t Give Me that Old Time Religion!

I read a blog recently in which the author shared her love for the King James Version of the Bible and the old Baptist hymns.  I read a post on a discussion group in which someone asked a question and the answer was to direct the seeker to the old Puritan writings.  After all, what is old is good, right?  Not necessarily.

Although I tend to be a traditionalist myself and I have great respect for those who struggled for answers in the past, I have come to understand that the old ways are not best just because they are old.  In fact, some of the old ideas are just plain wrong.

One of the primary struggles of the grace-filled life is the pull to the past, the old ways of thinking.  In fact, much of the fear that creeps into the hearts of those who have come under grace is from the idea that the old way couldn’t have been so wrong.  All the time, I hear questions like, “But what about the sins we continue to do?”  Or, “But aren’t we commanded to go out and do good works?”  It takes time and reinforcement to believe that Jesus is enough.  It also takes a willingness to think a new way.

Only the most aberrant grace teachers say that we should just go out and sin without concern.  Only the foolish would suggest that doing good works is not an important part of the Christian life.  Yet, no matter how much we explain and support from Scripture, many people continue to struggle with thinking these things are necessary for “real” salvation.  They continue in their bondage to the performance standards they learned in the old way.

What if the old way was wrong?  What if you really can’t earn your way into Heaven or keep yourself on the road to Heaven by the good works you do?  What if your sins today really are already washed away by the blood of Jesus?  If these things are right, why would you want to go back to the old way?

For many people, even those who have discovered grace, the old way we are supposed to reject is the way of sin and death.  But the old religion of works and performance is part of the way of sin and death.  The law cannot give life.  It only reveals death.  Life is in Jesus.  When we understand that everything is about Jesus, that He has done it all, that He is sufficient for what we need—then we will feel free.

For the record, I love the old hymns and I have great respect for the KJV.  But I am no longer interested in the religion of those churches or preachers who say these represent the only right way.  That way wasn’t ever right.

So, don’t give me that old time religion!



Filed under Freedom, grace, Legalism

5 responses to “Don’t Give Me that Old Time Religion!

  1. good post there.

    reminds me of my old time favorite song

    “Create in me a clean heart”
    “and take not thy holy Spirit from me”

    turns out, I am already clean! by the blood of Jesus
    what more? the holy Spirit lives in me and I am sealed!
    the melody of the song by itself is nice.
    but the lyrics is quite contradicting to believers.

    thank you Jesus for the true gospel!

    – grace and peace

  2. Amen!

    Many of our songs, both old and new, come from the old thinking, don’t they? One of my “favorites” is “Holiness, holiness, is what I long for. Holiness is what I need.” Really? So having the life of Christ within you does nothing?

    • the flesh really has its way of making it dramatic.

      those days when i was down and out i would sing that song
      “create in me a clean heart”

      it is really satisfying. the flesh is so satisfied because it believes that it is dirty.

      but upon reality which is found in the scripture says, “I am clean already” I stop the religious practice of singing that song.

      the things found in the scripture is our reality, as believers.
      we have to renew and change our mind, based on what the scripture says.

      we are clean. we are forgiven of all our sins. we are justified
      we are righteous, we are victorious, we have healing,
      we have prosperity, we have favor, we have mercy

      we have to believe them, even if we do not feel and do not see it ourselves. as if it may not seem real.

      here’s another one that sounds good, soothing to to the flesh.

      “God gave me sickness and disease because He disciplines those He loves”

      now, If we read from Jesus accounts. nowhere Jesus made a healthy person sick. on the contrary , Jesus made all the sick well. now that is our reality. we have healing from Jesus!

      oh boy.. long post…. 🙂

      thank you for this post.

      – grace and peace

  3. Marsh

    My heart was settled when I believed Jesus’ promise to me is all I need. My heartfelt emotions don’t add to or take away from His promise. It is steadfast on good days and bad, happy days or sad, spiritually successful days or hide my face in shame days. Nothing will ever cause Jesus to recind His promise to me who believes and wants Him as saviour. Nothing will cause Him to raise me up above all the others who are also believers. I love this saviour and respect Him with my utmost trust.

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