Gospel Bite: A Criticism of Self Righteousness
Last ‘Gospel Bite’ we looked at how we could use Luke 7:36-50 to answer a question about sin and forgiveness. To demonstrate how flexible a ‘gospel bite’ may be, this week we are going to use the same passage to respond to a different criticism. Please read the passage before reading on.
How might you respond to a friend who declares:
‘I haven’t got much time for religion; it often seems so judgmental and self-righteous.’?
Try something like this:
You’ve probably got more in common with Christ than you think, then. He always criticized that sort of religious attitude. On one occasion he was eating a meal at the home of a religious leader when a prostitute walked in and wept at this feet. She was obviously looking to him for acceptance. The religious leader was outraged, but Jesus actually defended the woman. He even offered her forgiveness and insisted that the religious leader was further away from God that this humble woman. ‘Religion’ might be self-righteous, but Christ came to overturn all that stuff. True Christian faith is forgiving, not judgmental. Have you ever read much about Christ?
There is not an effort in the above response to tell the whole gospel. That would depend on how much more the questioner wants to know. Lord-willing this minute long response might open up a larger conversation about an essential aspect of Jesus’ mission: to welcome sinners into God’s kingdom.
This ‘Gospel Bite’ is taken from John Dickson’s book The Best Kept Secret of Christian Mission (Zondervan, 2010), 205.