The fact that evil deeds have been done by those who claim allegiance to Christ is a criticism that is sometimes raised against Christianity. In thinking about a response to this critique, it dawned on me that anything of value is likely to be counterfeited. The presence of the counterfeit is a backhanded compliment and speaks to the value of the original.
The chain gang is a fitting picture to illustrate what legalistic churches do to their people. They put shackles upon them and force them into certain behaviors that will identify them with the group.
The main point is that I don’t have to strive to achieve holiness; it is something that has already been granted to me. I don’t have to work to get holiness; I already have it by being in Christ. I had been working to get something that I already have.
In a drought, clouds forming on the horizon bring hope of much needed rain. If those clouds pass overhead without producing rain, the hope they engendered is dashed. Therefore waterless clouds are useless to those in need of rain.