This past weekend, on our hike, Jon told us a story about some of his coworkers. One of them was going to leave for a hiking trip right from work, so he brought his gear and pack into work with him. One of his friends got a rock weighing about 20 pounds, emptied the contents of the pack, put the rock at the bottom, and then placed everything back in on top of it. The poor guy carrying the pack had no idea until he got home from his hike and unpacked that it was not his normal load. He said he felt like he was so out of shape during the whole hike.
Isn’t that how religion can be? We add extra weight to people’s packs, weight that our Lord doesn’t require them to bear. Yet we tend to force them to carry heavy theological issues that have nothing to do with their salvation or sanctification or eternal standing with God. Are we making disciples? Or are we more concerned with making followers of our creeds? Of our dogma?
When someone first comes to Christ, they sometimes get a new list of rules, not love. Even nonbelievers have an expectation placed upon them that they should concede to truths or adhere to doctrine of our choosing. Are we daft? Have we missed the truth that the whole point of the gospel is to set people free?