The First Self-Righteous Church (revised)

We all got rebaptized whether we needed it or not …

Thanks to Hal.

One reason I posted this is I figured it was good material for a small group study. I just didn’t have time to write up anything.

Question: What are Ray Stevens’ assumptions about the heart of the First Self-Righteous Church?

[Hidden sin, Taking comfort in superficial religiosity]

Q: What was the impact of Sister Betterthanyou confessing sin?

[Embarrassment, leading to a need to feel forgiven]

Q: Why did the church seek re-baptism?

[Many felt being baptized would cleanse their now-disclosed sins]

Q: Do you think they wanted cleansing from God or to appear forgiven to their neighbors?

[Hmm. A little of both.]

Q: Why did the members give generously and volunteer for missions?

[Perhaps some were trying to earn forgiveness. Perhaps others were shocked into admitting their sinfulness and so felt the need for grace and therefore gained a new appreciation for grace.]

Q: Was the church truly revived? What would true revival require?

[A change in heart. Likely some were revived; others just embarrassed.]

Q: How can a Christian like Sister Betterthanyou look down on others when her life is so filled with sin?

[Don’t we all? We compartmentalize our lives. We gain comfort from being regular attenders and such.]

Q: In what sense did she feel better than others?

[Positive law obedience. She sat on the front row. She was likely very regular in her attendance and a regular participant in church activities.]

Q: How does a church become a Self-righteous Church?

[By being filled with self-righteous people — that is, people who feel entitled or superior because they adhere to certain externalities rather than having their lives and hearts right]

Q. What did Jesus say about these kinds of people?

[lots]

Q. Do people outside of our congregation think of us a Self-righteous Church? Why or why not?

[discuss]

Q: If the answer is yes, what are we going to do about it?

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One Response

  1. Regardless of any religous measurement such as contribution or attendance if this good feeling of revival does not produce personal tranformation it is not revival. Yes in the book unChristian it describes in more meaty detail why people see us as self rightesous.

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