I think it's really important to remember that the point of Christianity is not purity, but living with and becoming closer to God. That includes morality, but more as a side-effect rather than the end-result.
An analogy that came to me recently about this is marriage. Should I be nice to my wife? Absolutely. But is the goal of marriage being nice to her? I sure hope not. The goal is intimacy. If we have an intimate relationship, I will probably have to be nice, and the more intimate we become, the nicer I will likely become. But if I just act nice all the time and think our marriage is great, I will be sorely disappointed. Yet many marriages are just like that--nice with no intimacy.
Many people's relationships with God are like that, too: They are nice to God and others, but there is no intimacy with God. Purity and morality is good, but I think we over-emphasize it as a sort of goal of Christianity rather than result of faith and relationship with God.
February 20, 2010
An Invitation to Desire
This may come as a surprise to you: Christianity is not an invitation to become a moral person. It is not a program for getting us in line or for reforming society. It has a powerful effect upon our lives, but when transformation comes, it is always the aftereffect of something else, something at the level of our hearts. And so at its core, Christianity begins with an invitation to desire.