Hopefully you joined us last week for my review of the book Memory’s Door by James L. Rubart. Some of you might have wondered why I did a book review – I’ve never done one here before and, in general, they don’t fit within the purpose of the Grow Barefoot blog.
Moment of honesty here – I’m not doing this because the book is so wonderful (although it is) nor am I doing it to help the author sell more books (although that would be ok too).
I’m doing it because I believe in Jim Rubart’s personal ministry.
Jim’s heart is to bring people into an intimate, freeing relationship with our awesome God. That same God also happened to give Jim an incredible talent for story-telling; Jim uses that gift as an avenue to bring people into the freedom of Christ’s love.
Along these lines, I asked Jim a few more questions about his newest book, Memory’s Door, and his personal ministry.
Religion vs. Relationship
From the book, “For one Christian to weigh another down with rules and regulations that are not their own…that is the greatest enemy of Christianity. Religion. …
“The spirit of religion is an enemy who is crushing churches, dividing fellowships and friends, turning God from a person into a manifesto of dos and don’ts that crush the spirit and turn Christianity into a program devoid of true godly power and devoid of love.”
Q: Religion versus relationship is a strong theme in this book. How would you distinguish between a religion-based faith and a relationship-based faith?
A: Simple. A religion-based faith is about what you should and shouldn’t do. Don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t swear, don’t go to R-rated movies. Do read your Bible, go to church, pray a lot, give 10% of your money away.
A relationship-based faith is all about the relationship. Let’s hang out. Get to know each other. Have conversation. Tell the other how amazing they are. Almost sounds like a friendship, doesn’t it? Almost sounds like two people in love. Maybe that’s why Christ calls us His bride. Maybe that’s why there’s going to be a wedding feast at the end of the age.
Q: Apart from the books, the tagline for your ministry is "Live Free." What does that mean to you?
A: There’s only one path to absolute freedom – absolutely dying to self. The more I throw off the old worries, wounds, cares, and idols I still try to hang onto, the more I press into friendship with Jesus, the more free I am.
The more I don’t care what people think of me, and simply live out of my true self, the freer I am.
So in the end, “Live Free” means immersing myself in the person of Jesus so completely that I don’t exist anymore; I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. But understand – this new person that Christ lives inside of is not an annihilation of me, but is the birth of a new being, the one Jesus purposed me to be from before the beginning of time (2 Corinthians 5:17). The new person is a glorious, perfected James L. Rubart that is holy and true and pure. In that state we live without walls, without boundaries, without rules, but in perfect relationship with the Trinity. That is living free.
At Grow Barefoot, we seek to Live Free · Pursue Holiness · No Excuses. One of our goals is to help you grow in your relationship with God and His Word. Hopefully, you can now see why we appreciate Jim and his ministry.
Only by stepping away from the rules and regulations of man-made religion can we enter into a free, loving relationship with Him who created us and knows us better than we know ourselves. In that place, we find the power, love, security, and purpose for which we strive.