Tuesday was my day off this week, so Amy, Connar, and I “celebrated” by going to the laundromat to wash an over-sized dusty comforter. It brought back not so fond memories of my life as a youth director (we didn’t have a dryer), and so every Tuesday I’d be off drying clothes with the Clinton, SC community. I remember one day seeing a gospel tract which wasn’t as “gospel” as I’d hoped.
Well unfortunately the same thing happened to us on this trip to the laundromat in Hurricane, WV (although this city is our mailing address, we actually live in Teays Valley). This time I saw a bunch of tracts, although I imagine they all had a similar message since they were put out by the same folks. And I did check out two of them.
The Menonites placed their seal of approval on these tracts and as a result, the gospel became very works oriented. What I mean is that it was very close to a Jesus + good behavior=salvation.
In addition, if we wanted to be happy, we could simply follow the 10 commandments. While God instructed the Israelites to choose life (Deut 30:19, which was the title of my last sermon on Jonah), he knew that only Jesus would choose life perfectly. And only by resting secure in Jesus can we respond without fear of failure, because He has chosen life perfectly on our behalf.
While the gospel always produces a life change-a life of repentance and pre-ordained works to walk in (Eph 2:10)-a life change must never be considered to have any salvific merit (Eph 2:8-9). Paul referred to this as “another gospel” (Galatians 1:7).
After the sadness which comes from seeing another “another gospel” tract lifted, we were soon ushered away on the wings of laundromat employee’s cigarette smoke. A fine morning indeed, but at least we got rid of some change and now have a warm comforter to last us through the night.