We all got rebaptized whether we needed it or not …
Thanks to Hal.
One reason I posted this is I figured it was good material for a small group study. I just didn’t have time to write up anything.
Question: What are Ray Stevens’ assumptions about the heart of the First Self-Righteous Church?
[Hidden sin, Taking comfort in superficial religiosity]
Q: What was the impact of Sister Betterthanyou confessing sin?
[Embarrassment, leading to a need to feel forgiven]
Q: Why did the church seek re-baptism?
[Many felt being baptized would cleanse their now-disclosed sins]
Q: Do you think they wanted cleansing from God or to appear forgiven to their neighbors?
[Hmm. A little of both.]
Q: Why did the members give generously and volunteer for missions?
[Perhaps some were trying to earn forgiveness. Perhaps others were shocked into admitting their sinfulness and so felt the need for grace and therefore gained a new appreciation for grace.]
Q: Was the church truly revived? What would true revival require?
[A change in heart. Likely some were revived; others just embarrassed.]
Q: How can a Christian like Sister Betterthanyou look down on others when her life is so filled with sin?
[Don’t we all? We compartmentalize our lives. We gain comfort from being regular attenders and such.]
Q: In what sense did she feel better than others?
[Positive law obedience. She sat on the front row. She was likely very regular in her attendance and a regular participant in church activities.]
Q: How does a church become a Self-righteous Church?
[By being filled with self-righteous people — that is, people who feel entitled or superior because they adhere to certain externalities rather than having their lives and hearts right]
Q. What did Jesus say about these kinds of people?
Q. Do people outside of our congregation think of us a Self-righteous Church? Why or why not?
Q: If the answer is yes, what are we going to do about it?