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In Breaking the Rules, Fil invites us to explore what happens when good religion turns bad. At such times we are weighed ...
In Breaking the Rules, Fil invites us to explore what happens when good religion turns bad. At such times we are weighed down with expectations of what it takes to be "right with God"--whether it is the expectations of others, holding up under pressure, fixing what's wrong or accomplishing big things for God.
When we set aside this false agenda, we find the courage to confess our fears and insecurities. We taste the depths of God's love for us. Here is an opportunity to quit trusting in your own ability to live for God, and simply trust in God instead.
Posted June 21, 2010
His thesis and life experience proclaims- we are to do what we can, that's all Jesus asks of us. I find it to be a valid and thought provoking point- it is a covenant between us and Jesus- using our time, talents and resources to deepen our personal walk with Christ and further the kingdom of God here on earth. And that is our response to His unconditional love- not an attempt to qualify or earn it through religious dogma. I get that.
What I don't get is found throughout and especially toward the end of his polemic on the failure of "religion." He uses Matthew 23 1-7 as an example of the problem with "religious" people. Verse 5- "They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for their phylacterties are broad and their fringes long." Or as Fil notes on page 227 "You love to be regarded highly. You crave respect. You love the best seat in the house where everyone can see you".
At times I think Fil falls into a similar trap- how proud he is of his break with "religion" or more accurately the Christian Church. He never defines what encompasses religion or the specifics that lead him to conclude,(page 214) "I am utterly convinced that religion was invented in the devil's workshop." And later on the same page, "The theology of religion is simple and operates on a single tenet: Exploit and marshal whatever power is obtainable to achieve whatever goal you believe is a smart endeavor."
Maybe such vitriol would make sense if put in context- but it lacks authenticity, witness, it relies on sweeping generalities and is devoid of any specifics. And that's the fallacy in his rhetorical style- guilt by association not by specific deeds in place or time.
All of his references to harken back to rabbinical law and how Jesus railed at them and "Broke the Rules" just as He was sent to do. There are no examples of todays "religion' behaving as such. I have to wonder why not?
So where has religion driven the stake through Fil's vision? Not at my church. Our small Methodist Church in Odessa De. challenges each of to do so and share our walk with others, for others to witness to the power of Christ in our lives. I would like Fil to visit our church and explain how it is born of the devil's workshop and how we exploit power.
I love his message of doing what we can because of of Jesus' unconditional love- not in order to win or earn it and Fil's willingness to shine light through the breaks in his armor. I think there is still a break he has yet to reveal and that is the anger that drives him to vilify "religion" with nary of mention of Christ's instructions at the last supper or where two or more or gathered there He will be and little mention of Christian community.
Many terrible acts have been committed in name of religion and many more will be. Religion is made up of humans, sinners, very fallible people prone to the seven deadly sins. It is also make up of many beautiful people who give what they can for Jesus so they can be his hands and feet in our broken world. I can show him some in Odessa De that I've been on mission trips with, served the homeless with and mourned and laughed with.
Posted March 13, 2010
Breaking the Rules is a must read. The transparency in which he writes is amazing. He had me from the first page. This book is a must for anyone who is seeking a closer, more intimate relationship with God. Read it, savor it, talk with God about it. Breaking the Rules is life changing and I'm will read it many times over.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 13, 2010
Every once in a great while you are privileged to be party to a life changing, game changing conversation...such is the case in my reading of Fil Anderson's book, Breaking the Rules. I've practically highlighted the entire book. If you have ever wrestled with the heaviness of rules and regulations and believed you always came up a bit short..this is the conversation to help set you free. If you have struggled with dogma that seems at odds with your head and heart, this is the book for you. Fil Anderson reveals his own personal story with brilliance, respect, and profound love captivating the reader with both challenge and celebration. It is a story not to be missed. It is a message resonating with anyone who has grappled with working so very hard to "be more, to be better, to be worthy." If in any way, you might relate....buy the book. Read the story. And if you are lucky enough....young enough...to not yet relate to such weight...read this book as a pro-active measure against ever being entrapped by well meaning, but sadly misdirected doctrine. Fil's book is an insightful voice that both compels the rebel and embraces that which is worthy of rebellion. So, buy the book. Read the story. It is a life changer. It is money and time very well spent.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.