I’ve been a stressed out nutcase for the last 6 months or so. This has to do with a few different things…

First of all, I work too much. I’m tired of talking about that. Just know that my lack of sleep is a stress factor.

Secondly, I worry too much about things like money (see previous blog post) as we prepare to move to Boston.

The last thing that has stressed me out (which is conveniently the topic of this blog post) is that I’ve been reading and listening to a high concentration of Reformed theology over the last year or so. I don’t want to show my ignorance by speaking for an entire body of theological discussion in one measly blog post, but here is a quick summary of Reformed theology (admittedly ripe with unfair generalizations) if you aren’t familiar with it…

  • Reformed theology focuses on the sovereignty of God and the sinfulness of man.
  • Reformed theology teaches that God is ultimately behind everything that happens in the world, whether it is good or evil.
  • A majority of Reformed theologians believe in divine election (commonly known as predestination), which means that God calls each person who receives salvation (becomes a Christian) to faith.
  • Reformed theology teaches that man is so deeply depraved that God’s sovereign grace is the only thing keeping us from eternal damnation.
  • Reformed theology puts a lot of emphasis on the pursuit of holiness (trying your hardest to not sin) for Christians.

Like I just said… there is a lot more to Reformed theology than that. I just wanted to give a quick overview to people that may not be familiar.

I had a conversation the other night with a friend who made me realize something. In all of this “God is perfect and we are nothing more than sinners” business that I have been rapidly consuming through the teachings of people like Mark Driscoll, David Platt, John Piper, and Tim Keller I have let myself slip into legalism. In no way do I blame the aforementioned pastors for driving me into legalism. Mark Driscoll, in particular, regularly preaches against the legalistic tendencies of Christians. However, I have taken the things that I’ve been reading/listening to and run too far with them.

I have let my pursuit of holiness take the place of my pursuit of God. I subconsciously began telling myself that I had to do better managing my sin so that I would be a better Christian.

This stressed me out to no end. I was constantly unhappy with myself.

I’m thankful that I came to this realization; however, I definitely need to make some changes to keep my progress up.

So, for the rest of Lent, I’m going to give up listening to Mark Driscoll.

I have already un-“liked” the Resurgence on Facebook. I have un-followed him on Twitter, and I have unsubscribed to the Resurgence blog. I will not visit the Mars Hill website for weekly teachings.

I have already felt an enormous weight lift from my shoulders. I hope that I can correct my legalism and get back on track in my pursuit of God, not a particular theological position.

I want to finish up by saying that I wholeheartedly believe that the pursuit of holiness is very important to the Christian life. However, when your holiness becomes more important than appreciating the beautiful, life-giving power of Christ’s resurrection you may need to correct your bearing and re-focus yourself.