A Journey Toward Jesus
November 29, 1973
I appreciate receiving your last letter. It has provided me with much food for thought. I believe I understand a little better the purpose and motivation behind teaching and pleasing the Lord. I had never considered it before, but now that I reflect upon it, it does seem that we have established a sort of “negative” religion; that is, one whose main motivation is to “escape punishment,” rather than to “please the Lord.” Is that what they call a “fire escape religion?”
In a way I’m feeling a sense of exhilaration, a sense that I’m on the verge of putting some things in perspective that were formerly out of line, and it is very exciting and gratifying! To be sure, it is an awesome task to re-evaluate long held conceptions and beliefs, and it is surely a slow process, but I hope that with God’s guidance, I can truly understand His will. It is a source of joy to me to realize from your writing that you would hold allegiance, not to any movement, but rather to Christ and His word.
As you suggest, it is not easily done to re-evaluate old beliefs and accept new ones. The things you offer in your letters are of such a nature that it takes a while for them to sink into my thick head. Though after reading them three or four times, I begin to “get” what you’re trying to say. Usually after the first reading, I shake my head and say, “what?” My first reactions to most things are always more violent than my second or third thoughts. I would say that the things you present in your letter call for a “radical Christianity,” not in a bad sense, but in the sense of a complete overhauling of approaches and concepts to service and discipleship.
Well, I will close this letter for now. Thanks again. May God bless you in your service and study.
Love in Christ,