Thursday, January 15, 2009

Persecuted for being a Goody Two Shoes?

I'm writing about something that I've written about before, but it never hurts to repeat certain things! Persecution. I'll first say that I know that persecution takes many forms, and people around the world are persecuted for various reasons, from political to religious to intolerance to... all sorts of reasons.

But I'm writing here about a specific type of persecution. It's the persecution that the Apostle Paul and the other apostles and people in the early church dealt with. In fact, before becoming a Christian, Paul himself dealt out this type of persecution towards the church.

Now, the church today has become a place in which we think we're being persecuted in Christ's name if someone makes fun of us for being a goody two shoes - for "standing up for 'moral behavior.'" But here's the thing. When Paul was going around persecuting the church, HE was the one who was standing up for moral, lawful behavior! But when Jesus took hold of him, lovingly and gracefully, Paul found out that all his moral law-keeping was DUNG (see Philippians 3:1-11), and he turned from that to trusting in a righteousness that has nothing to do with his own morals or law-keeping, but rather is a righteousness that is imputed as a gift!

Paul himself then became part of those who were persecuted by the religious do-gooders. His life became a matter of "standing up" for this gift of righteousness that came by the grace of God. When he wrote these words to the Romans, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ," he was saying this not in the face of anyone who was putting him down for being a goody two shoes, but rather in the face of those who were persecuting him for rejecting the law and embracing the good news of God's righteousness being received by faith, not works.

"I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ" was a very bold statement for Paul to make, and the message of grace that he went on to share in the rest of the epistle was as bold as bold could be! There were those who vehemently opposed the gospel message of salvation by grace alone through faith, and Paul was bravely and unashamedly giving himself over in reckless abandonment to this good news message! He was essentially saying, "Who cares what the legalists think! This is God's message of love and grace, and I'm not gonna be shy about proclaiming it!"

All that said, I'm partially ashamed to say that I'm going to use this post as an excuse to post a video by my all time favorite artist. ;) I've been an "Ant Person" since the late 70's, when I was a boy in England and this band, Adam and the Ants, broke into the punk/pop scene with their own "brand" of music (Antmusic). Adam Ant went solo a few years later, and while he didn't make it big in the United States, I continued to follow and enjoy his music. This is the only Top 40 hit he had here in the States, as far as I know. It hit Number 10 on Billboard's charts.

Adam Ant - Goody Two Shoes

Don't drink, don't smoke - what do you do?
Don't drink, don't smoke - what do you do?
Subtle innuendos follow
Must be something inside he's hiding


  1. Joel,
    Excellent Post!! Amen, amen, amen! You couldn't have said this better!!

    ~Amy :)

  2. I have come back to this post 3 times now. It is wonderful...I actually don't know what to say other then WOW!!

    I was also thinking you could do an entire series of Antalogies where you compare all the Adam Ant music to scripture....that would be pretty sweet....

  3. Thanks Amy!

    Angela, I've posted some stuff in the past that was based upon an Adam & the Ants song, and I may just revisit that. There are other Ant songs that I've been tempted to post in the past, but some of the lyrics are just too... um... well... not sharable on this blog. LOL :)

  4. Great post, Joel! It's funny also because today the church thinks when they get teased for their 'good' behavior, that is persecution...

    Ah.. you are absolutely right!

  5. Great post Joel, I never cease to be amazed at the way you can make somethings that has been a nagging bother to me, with endless loop holes, make perfect sense and straight forward spoken in the context of grace. Blessings to you for your stand with the finished work of Christ. It really helps a struggling hard head like me get through the legalism that has had my head, heart, and mind impacted for way too long.
    And Man!!!! I hadn't heard that song or seen that video for ages LOL, last time I saw it was on one of my all nighters as a teen watching "Night Traxs".

  6. this helped our ministry out a lot thanks!!!