Next time you are anxious about your salvation, about whether you are good enough or believe enough or pray enough or have the right feeling or have earned your acceptance by God in some other way, I recommend that you go to this page and just read. And read again. And read again,
What you will find there is the distilled Gospel, and it's the antidote for common American religiosity.
I thought about copying them out, but I didn't want to do it without permission. But trust me. You want to read these- and maybe copy them down.
Telling the difference is easy. Using it is not. One of the “slogans” that has become standard in OCD circles comes from Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz’s Brain Lock: “If it feels like OCD, it is.”
Think of the last time you realized that something real and healthy in your life needed your attention and should be acted on. Think of how that felt. Think even if a reasonable, rational fear that you had. Compare your emotional reaction to that reasonable fear with what OCD feels like. See what I mean? They’re not even remotely alike.
If it’s vague and creepy, it’s OCD. If it’s reasonably specific and prompts you to reasonable action, it’s healthy. “I’d better not date that married man because adultery and even coveting my neighbor’s husband violates the Ten Commandments” will produce an entirely different emotion from “If I eat a half-ripe banana I’ll go to hell.” Check it out. Reasonable and healthy fear of displeasing God leads you to behavior that will avoid doing so, or, at least, pushes you i…
Rod Rosenbladt, a Lutheran theologian, tells the true story of wrecking his father's Buick 8 when he was sixteen years old. Rod was drunk, as were all his friends who were in the car. The first thing Rod's dad asked him over the phone was whether he was all right. Rod said yes. He also told his father he was drunk. Later that night, Rod wept and wept in his father's study. At the end of the ordeal, his father said one thing: "How about tomorrow we go get you a new car." Rod says now that he became a theist in that moment. God's grace became real.
When Rod tells that story, there are always a few people in the audience who get mad. They say, "Your dad let you get away with that?! He didn't punish you at all?" And Rod says, "No," adding the following: "Do you think I didn't know what I had done? Do you think it was not the most painful moment of my whole life up to that point? Do you think the law wasn't cutting me down to …