What is the way out of Christian moralism? Continuing from the last post, Coe says we have to
[open] our heart and mind deeply to (1) the reality of Christ’s work on the Cross in justification and (2) the ministry of the Holy Spirit in regeneration and in-filling. (p. 73)
If there is no more condemnation then “come out of your hiding in your prayer life and be honest with God.” And if Christ’s righteousness has been imputed to you, “then stop trying to cover your badness by being good.” (p. 74).
Coe says we often feel forgiven for failures but still feel unacceptable. And so we tend to respond with moralism in an effort to get to that point that we feelacceptable. Instead we are to meditate on the truth of our acceptance on the merit of the Cross AND need the transformation of the Spirit. Coe reminds us that spiritual disciplines do not transform us but “only become relational opportunities to open the heart to the Spirit who transforms.” (P. 77)
So, what do you think about his way out? Are you left wishing for more direction? More objective activities? Then in his mind you might be a moralist…
Maybe we should start by talking to others about our propensity towards moralism and quick fixes to our deepest problem. Also, we may need to explore how little we rely on the Spirit and how infrequent we are mindful of our needy state without moving toward shame or dulling that feeling.