Friday, May 23, 2008

Works Righteousness or Castration Fantasy?

For some time now, I have been engaging in an interesting thread at the Anglican Scotist on the PB's Easter Message. I have argued that it raises significant concerns when the leader of a Christian denomination gives an Easter Message that does not use the opportunity to affirm the basic Christian doctrine of the Resurrection. And that these concerns are compounded when it is coupled with a program of righteous works.

When I saw the new TEC ad campaign with the slicing carrots video, I had more thoughts about works righteousness theology (as well as some questions about the PR value of arousing castration anxiety). So I was grateful to learn from Jackie Bruchi at Stand Firm about this recent post by Scott Gunn over at Seven Whole Days:
To put it another way, we’re in the transformation biz, not the good deeds biz. Our good deeds spring from our faith. To be sure, sometimes our faith comes as we serve Jesus in the “least of these.” But mostly when we focus on good deeds, we’re repeating a mistake that Anglicans sorted out 450 years ago. Yes, my friends, I’m talking about works-righteousness. You don’t get into heaven by doing good things. You can’t get saved by doing good thigns. You can’t fix the church by doing good things.

So, sure, I’m OK with slicing carrots or clothing people or giving money to those who have less. We need to do all of those things. But we mustn’t confuse them with our purpose. Sadly, I’m afraid the new ads don’t convey any really good reason to climb out of bed and go to a (probably not friendly) Episcopal Church.

And I would just add, one really wonders how friendly a church is when they show this ad about chopping ...

1 comment:

The Underground Pewster said...

Ouch..., I had not seen the slicing carrots ad. The voice sounded like a tenor rather than a "carroto" tenor.