D.C. Collier: Just ‘Going Through the Motions’ with God? | Opinions | Noozhawk (2024)

D.C. Collier: Just ‘Going Through the Motions’ with God? | Opinions | Noozhawk (1)

How easy it is to fall into religious complacency, going through the motions devoid of heart engagement, and thinking we’re somehow pleasing God.

Some religious traditions make it easy for such zombie-like behavior — providing congregants with endless rituals, preprogrammed services and stultified worship formats. No engagement required.

This religious consumerism reduces congregants into passive spectators, not active participants, reinforcing manmade clergy-laity distinctions.

Getting Real

God has never been pleased with such religiosity. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah rebuked Israel for such religious hypocrisy, in Isaiah 1:15-17:

“… when youspread out your handsin prayer,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Yes, even though youoffer many prayers,
I will not be listening.
Your hands arecovered with blood.

“Wash yourselves,make yourselves clean;
Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.
Stop doing evil,
Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Rebuke the oppressor,
Obtain justice for the orphan,
Plead for the widow’s case.”

The people of ancient Israel prided themselves on their perceived “corner on God,” with their outward posturing and inward corruption.

He wasn’t about to sit still for such disingenuous blather. It is the same today. He started by calling them to repentance.

Repentance Without Regret

The Apostle Paul once wrote to the saints in Corinth, rebuking them for knowingly tolerating sin in their midst.

The Corinthians took it hard at first, but then realized Paul did this for their own good and they repented.

The result was a second letter to the Corinthians that gives us a window into the Godly attitude all of us need to have if we really wish to please God, as written in 2 Corinthians 7:8-12:

“For the sorrow that is according tothe will ofGod produces arepentancewithout regret,leadingto salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, thisgodly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindicationof yourselves, what indignation, what fear, whatlonging, what zeal, whatpunishment of wrong! In everything youdemonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter.”

Bible commentator Bill MacDonald wrote, “Repentance … is not merely a change of purpose but includes a change of heart which leads to a turning from sin with grief and hatred thereof unto God.’”

How casual we can be about offending God, just going through the motions of confession and moving on without so much as a thought to what it personally cost Christ to make atonement possible.

MacDonald continued, “Godly sorrow means grief … which leads to his repentance … He realizes that God is speaking to him, and so he takes sides with God against himself and against his sin.”

Conversely, when we sin, we are taking sides with ourselves against God — a very precarious position indeed.

Finally, MacDonald stated, “The sorrow of the world is not true repentance, but mere remorse. It produces bitterness, hardness, despair, and eventually death. It is illustrated in the life of Judas. He was not sorry for the results which his sin brought to the Lord Jesus, but only remorseful for the terrible harvest which he himself reaped from it.”

Salvation Depends On It

In my mentoring work with recovering drug and alcohol addicts, when a man talked about his crimes against others, I had to be careful to discern the difference between true repentance and mere remorse.

It was easy to be fooled into thinking that he was “getting it” when, in fact, he was not.

Was he concerned about the harm done to his victims, including his own family, or was he more focused on the consequences that he was reaping in his own life? Big difference.

It was rare indeed to find a truly repentant man who was coming to God on his knees, realizing his personal responsibility for offending the Creator of the universe.

The stakes are high here. What passes for “salvation” is often no more than a religious “false positive” for those who merely “go down in front” or “pray a prayer,” and think they are home free.

It’s quite another matter to actually “get it” as to their lost condition before a holy God. It is ONLY THEN that they turn toward Christ in saving faith and believe the Gospel.

As noted in Romans 10:10, “… for with the hearta personbelieves, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”

How About You?

Just been going through the motions with God lately? Want to go deeper?

In a hint from Isaiah 35:7-9: “A highway will be there,a roadway; And it will be called the Highway ofHoliness; The unclean will not travel on it; But itwillbe for the one who walksthatway; Andfools will not wanderon it.”

More D.C. Collier

D.C. Collier: The Peril of Misplaced Faith

D.C. Collier: Living for an Audience of One

D.C. Collier: Only Christianity Offers a Living Savior

D.C. Collier: Just ‘Going Through the Motions’ with God? | Opinions | Noozhawk (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Domingo Moore

Last Updated:

Views: 6076

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (73 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Domingo Moore

Birthday: 1997-05-20

Address: 6485 Kohler Route, Antonioton, VT 77375-0299

Phone: +3213869077934

Job: Sales Analyst

Hobby: Kayaking, Roller skating, Cabaret, Rugby, Homebrewing, Creative writing, amateur radio

Introduction: My name is Domingo Moore, I am a attractive, gorgeous, funny, jolly, spotless, nice, fantastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.