Posted by: Ed | April 27, 2010

FAITH WITOUT GUILT and the Weekend that Was

It was great to be back at Journey this weekend, but it wasn’t easy. I know the it sounds cliché and a smidge overdramatic to invoke spiritual warfare every time you preach, pray or do anything that is approaches “ministry” and so I don’t. Maybe that’s not good. But I knew going into this weekend that we would be going after stuff that has so many Christ followers hamstrung that there would be some spiritual blow back. At least from where I stood, that panned out.

The weekend was installment 4 of our Beyond Belief series – “Faith Without Guilt”. One of the great misunderstandings that I believe is diabolical in source is that God traffics in guilt, that it is one of the main ways He communicates, that is the air you breath when you draw close to Him. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “I used to go to church but it just made me feel guilty.” As I read in a book on education once, things surrounded by unpleasantness are seldom surrounded by people. No surprise that once the cultural “should” about church and religion went away (starting here in Cali) so did a lot of people.

Additionally, a lot of people who come to Christ, begin to find life in Him get sidetracked with crippling guilt, regret, feelings of worthlessness. I am convinced this is a chief “stronghold” of the evil one in many people’s lives. I felt a good deal of that throughout the message. I hope it didn’t show, but I felt like I was working my butt off up there this weekend, but I knew, O I KNEW, that God wanted to free some people.

WORSHIP – I love how much truth is in the worship songs we do at Journey and how absolutely poetic and powerful it is. Our team destroyed, as usual.

GATM PEOPLE’S CHOICE VOITING – Sarah hosted the services this weekend and led the people through the text voting for the “people’s choice” movie in our upcoming God at the Movies series. I think she learned about voting in Chicago – talk about a compromised process!

NOT 1 BUT 2 GREAT SURF SESSIONS – I was so glad that it shook out for me to get in the water with some Journey types on Saturday and to paddle out on my day off. Both days were fantastic. I love spring surfing – combo swell, summer crowds haven’t arrived yet!

NEXT WEEKEND – as a part of the weekend we will have the chance to sign up for the Leadership Summit in August at the lowest possible price. Be ready to dive on that!



  1. Yesterday morning I was having solitude and I arrived at a time where I just said to God, “Tell me …” It was an open invitation, I didn’t steer “his” thoughts by even asking a question of my own. … And He gave me a strong message, simpler and more clear than usual – and it was the message you outlined above!! follow the light, the voice of affirmation and love. Steer from guilt.

    Now I recall Friday night I read a tweet by Todd, saying how everyone had to come out and hear your message. Now I can see why he said that, except it doesn’t seem i need to go over there at all, that your message radiates into my quiet time!! :) lol

    Seriously I might have let yesterday’s message from God slip away but you have affirmed what I heard. This is huge! Guilt is a thief. Thanks so much.

  2. For years I thought I understood the concept of grace as a free gift that cannot be earned – but it was only head knowledge that didn’t penetrate deep enough. A couple years ago I realized I had been living my life trying to pay God back. Just like the servant who owed more than he could possibly pay back yet still saying “Have patience with me and I will pay back everything!” Your words about not realizing how totally in over my head I am hit home. It’s something I have to keep in front of me. At times I find myself slipping back into old ways, other times I am struck with the reality of my condition and so moved by the love and grace of God, the sacrifice of Jesus to do what I never could.

    Other big moment for me: I’m worse off following the wrong/distorted image of Jesus, than no Jesus at all (or something like that).

  3. From my limited Christian experience (0nly 33 years) I found that most people who “backslide” do so not because of the the lure of sinful pleasure but because they get so under the guilt, shame and condemnation of not measuring up to the New Testament laws that some church leaders lay down, that they just give up! They go back to the world which condemns a lot less than the church.

    Jesus came to free the prisoner and captive. So many are caught in the “DO MORE AND TRY HARDER GOSPEL” in efforts to please God that they just get tired of trying to be good or holy enough. Ed, thank you for preaching the truth that sets these captives free!! Bravo Amigo!!

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