Sunday, February 18, 2007

Pastoral Refreshment Conference

Dave Burke spoke at the Living Leadership - Pastoral Refreshment Conference. Talks are online (text).

Here's an extract....

The Pharisee within
Inside every Christian there is a Pharisee trying to get out. The legalist within longs to torture us, or other people, with our failures and shortcomings. Imagine this conversation:
“Read Exodus 34, there is no hope for you. Obey the law or you are doomed”
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love”
“But this is God’s law, it’s clear ans simple, he blesses the obedient and curses the failures.”
“He does not treat us as our sins deserve, or reward us according to our iniquities”
You should be afraid, you have gone too far, you have failed too frequently and too often.”
“As high as the heavens are above the earth, so gret is his love for those who fear him.”
But sin is sin is sin!
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgrassions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him”
You are free from the law and living in God’s fatherly grace. Let me put it this way, you don’t have to succeed in ministry to earn his love; he loves you anyway. You may choose never to go to church again, never to read your bible again, never to pray again, never to preach again. His love for you will not diminish by one fraction of a nanometer.
That is grace!


  1. That is Grace indeed and how beautiful it is!

  2. I hate to cry "heresy!" in the temple of Dagon but the Psalm does go on to say that the steadfast love of the Lord is on those who fear him, who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments (103:17-18).

    I'm waving a little flag here for the third use of the law that sees obedience as an expression of gratitude for grace. Such obedience doesn't earn anything, or persuade God to love us, but it doesn't confuse commandments and obedience with legalism.

  3. Thanks Martin. Your flag waving is welcome. I may have some issues with that use of the law, but you're spot on that it's not just cheap grace... I guess Dave isn't advocating that...