See if you can guess who said this:
This is the God of the gospel of grace. A God who, out of love for us, sent the only Son He ever had wrapped in our skin. He learned how to walk, stumbled and fell, cried for His milk, sweated blood in the night, was lashed with a whip and showered with spit, was fixed to a cross, and died whispering forgiveness on us all.
The God of the legalistic Christian, on the other hand is often unpredictable, erratic, and capable of all manner of prejudices. When we view God this way, we feel compelled to engage in some sort of magic to appease Him. Sunday worship becomes a superstitious insurance policy against His whims. This God expects people to be perfect and to be in perpetual control of their feelings and thoughts. When broken people with this concept of God fail, as inevitably as they must, they usually expect punishment. So they persevere in religious practices as they struggle to maintain a hollow image of a perfect self. The struggle itself is exhausting. The legalists can never live up to the expectations they project on God.
Did you guess Brennan Manning, in all of his Emergent, Postmodern, ooey-gooey theologically syrupy wishy-washiness? Yep, Brennan Manning, High Priest in The Church of You Can Claim Christ Without Repenting From Sin. I remember trying to read “Ragamuffin Gospel.” What a wretched piece of writing.
But see, the above quote is how the Purpose-Driven/Emergent/Postmoderns view those of us who hold to the truth of Scripture. They call us “legalists” for daring to say that in order to be saved a person must repent of their sins. Manning and Bell and McLaren would rather spend their time telling people that “God loves them just the way they are, sins and all” without ever once warning them to repent. So they wind up loving these people right into Hell. They would rather worship a God of their own making than the one whose perfect righteousness requires Him to send unrepentant sinners to their eternal justice.