Does Accountability Work?

Brad and Wayne begin by discussing the web sensation, Sunday's Coming, a video from Northpoint in Atlanta parodying a contemporary Sunday morning service. From there they read a devotional on accountability that a listener sent in. It was designed to get people to serve more by saying that at the end of the age God will sit everyone down and compare how much time they spent serving themselves and how much time they spent serving others. Why is it so many religious people find threats and fear much more powerful motivations than helping people discover the joy of living loved?


  1. If you can’t open the link like I can’t, here is where you can find it also:

  2. Will Brad write a book based on his study of judgment? This podcast is a jewel that sparkles with the love of the Father for us.

  3. Thank you for the link to vimeo. The You Tube link has a privacy setting and I could not see it.

    I agree that we do not need to fear the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10) but I don’t Brad or Wayne gave a good reason. This was a wonderful opportunity to explain the good news of the cross.

    Hebrews 9:27-28 tells us that “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

    What Jesus has done is given us all the chance to judge ourselves before God has to judge us. When we bear our cross and die daily, we are judging ourselves. That does not mean condemning ourselves. It means we are given the gift of repentance daily. Christian maturity is walking in daily self judgment which allows daily course corrections so we can stay on the same track that Christ is leading us.

    Think of self judgment like reconciling our check books. We keep track of our lives in how we are following Christ so we can zero balance every month. If we live our lives this way, there will be nothing for Christ to judge at the day of reckoning apart from well done you good and faithful servant.

    Most of what was said on the podcast I understand is directed at the works mentality used by professional clergy to get people to work for them for free. But we do have a judgment date with Christ, as they both agreed, but it need not be something to fear as they said if we are walking with Christ on a daily basis with a clear conscience.

    Thanks for your continued encouragement.

  4. Love the podcast especially the second half. Sort of wished I hadn’t watch the video, though. I understand the average salary for a pastor in this country is 30k a year and most don’t have health benefits or any kind of retirement. Worship teams in most churches get nothing. I get the negatives of even well intentioned manipulation, but I’m sad to see honest brothers and sisters lumped into that imagery when they are honestly trying to do it the best way they know how. Oh and I love to sing my heart out to Father, by myself, with two people, two hundred, sunday, sat, fri, wed , whenever. Anyway as I said love the podcast, should’ve skip the video.

  5. This is so right, I once was leading a bible study and I mentioned that maybe hell wasn’t fire and brimstone but that it might just be a picture of the anquish that we would feel from being seperate from God and one lady got so upset with me she said “how are we sapossed to tell people about heaven if they don’t have a bad picture of hell.” She was so angry she literaly shook. How sad how far we have fallen from grace. To think that someone needs to be scared into heaven and not loved there by example.

  6. Who am I serving when I do the simple thing of getting up everyday going to work to support my family, pay my bill, help keep my company in business so I and my co-workers have a job. I don’t mind God judging my service but it sure would be scary if the religious crowd was doing the job.

  7. “Religion is a shame management system” — that’s my aha moment from this one.

    I love the idea of sitting face to face with my Lord one day. How sad we’ve been taught to be afraid of that moment. One of my bench marks in this living loved journey was when I could look back on a moment where I really screwed up and say “God, that wasn’t so good, was it,” instead of hiding from God and trying to make amends by beating myself up with shame.

    An aside Re: Fire and Brimstone — most of the places in the Bible where the word “Hell” is used in the English it is simply referring to a state of death or a state of unconciousness. Look them all up and you will see it. As far as I can tell when I studied this, the fire and brimstone is for the evil spirits or perhaps those born of the seed of the serpent. The idea of eternal torture for humans came from Dante, not scripture.

  8. Wayne and Brad,
    While listening to “Does Accountability Work?”, you made mention of the person that read the devotional, and read, “He Loves Me”, and wondered about the accountability factor. I was out of the inst. church for about 5yrs before I came across the ‘Living Loved’ concept of our relationship with God. In the beginning it took awhile of Getting It, before the Father really, and totally brought it home to me. I am far more settled with this thinking then in the beginning. I will have to assume this happens to many people that are just coming to this realization for the first time.

  9. So very sad! Not the video which I think is briaaiant but resurrecting the scales of Justicem at the
    Bema seat of Judgment! Once again we are being weighed in the balance. Where is grace and where isthe judgment of sin that was made on the cross when jesus became sin fro us who knew no sin that we might be the righteousness of God in Christ. It is so sad how easily we fall prey to the works doctrine and to being ‘accountable”…perhaps, the bema seat is about potential rewards for gold silver and precious stone! As mother Theresa used to say, it’s not about great deeds but great love! did not our Lord say that even giving a glass of water in His name would have it’s reward. if we are to use the scales of justice once again we will all return to livibng in ‘sin’ and shame…not measuring up…falling short.

    Such thinking is to deny the cross of Chrsit.

  10. For me, it was easier to believe that I needed to do something to be good to God than for me to believe, as I do now, that He loves me and has done EVERYTHING already for me. That all I need to do is accept it. This is a hard thing for most people to comprehend because our human relationships are not like this. It is only when we get to the point where we realize we can’t do everything that it takes to be perfect on our own that we get to the point where we are open to hear the message of grace for free and freedom!

  11. Brad & Wayne,
    I totally agree about religion being a shame management system. I grew up in an IC and it was a pretty fundamentalist camp. I think the problem with the kind of accountability that the IC offers is, it gets us focused on what our peers think of us. We put ourselves under the judgment of another fallible human who is no more equipped to judge than us “the lowly sinner”.
    The more that I am on this journey ( and it seems that I am still barely out of the starting gate) I see more & more how religion is mostly about controlling people using fear or intimidation. Of course, the kind of accountability they would offer us is all about magnifying our guilt and shame in order to control us.
    I am no theologian, but it seems to me that kind of thinking flies directly in the face of what Jesus did and wants us to do.
    Thanks for the God Journey,
    You guys have helped me process my own thoughts and question things that were programed in from a very early age..

  12. Thanks Wayne and Brad for all your thoughts on your God journeys.

    You mentioned building with silver and gold and I have an example of finding out what this means in my life. I run retreats for women with some friends, our heart being to give women the time and space to sit at Jesus’ feet, to develop a deeper relationship with Him. Naturally speaking I would cram more women in, especially as others have said – “that was great, it will be bigger next time”. However God has clearly shown us that we need to have fewer women, not more, to give each plenty of private space to be with Him – this is building with silver and gold, following His way. Bowing to the pressure of bigger equals better will be building with straw and will rob both our Father and His daughters of precious time and space together.

    I’m looking forward to meeting Wayne in Bath, UK. Hope the trip is going well.

  13. The “account” that we have to give for this life sounds like a learning experience to me. I believe that God has more for us in the next life besides playing a harp whilst sitting on a cloud. So the “review” (if you will) is an opportunity to learn and understand things better as we move into the next part – whatever that might be. How cool – the God of the universe is going to take the time to review my life with me 🙂

  14. This whole subject of Christian judgment is such a hot potato. It has been at the back of my mind for my entire Christian life, 27 years so far. It has coloured so much of my thinking, and even tormented me from time to time. I venture to suggest that I’m not the only one! You hear so much about us being embarrassed and ashamed before His judgment seat, because we haven’t done this, or we have done that. Some even go so far as to state that true children of God will be thrown into outer darkness because of their lack of fruit (my question: how much fruit is enough?). I can remember many years ago having a real revelation moment on this, and it has stayed with me vividly all these years: I can remember feeling a genuine and wholehearted *desire* to be judged! I could clearly see how the judgment seat of Christ was about putting things right – removing all that is not of God from me and my life, so that Jesus is glorified. There was absolutely no sense of fear, or shame. Since then, I have often allowed this revelation to be obscured by the babblings of some preachers that delight in flagellating their congregation with threats of punishment, embarrassment and loss of rewards (!), but I know that I know that that precious moment before the Lord of the Universe, just me and Him, will prove to be the lynch pin of my eternal life in His Kingdom, the referral point where Jesus has proved all things, and everything that remains is good. As for that “loss of rewards” business: I don’t know what that is supposed to mean. I hardly think that we’re going to be jealous of one another because one has a bigger mansion or is shining brighter than me…I think any sense of loss will be left behind on earth – it’s all gain surely (as Paul said). In that mistaken notion I can imagine Jesus as a nauseating game show host pulling back a golden curtain saying “…and here’s what you could have won!” (if only you’d prayed more, found your perfect calling etc. etc.) I don’t really think people who talk like that have a clue what the judgment is really about, and quite how much joy there is going to be on that day! Everything in my life brought into the light? Bring it on, Lord – the sin has already been dealt with. Fear that judgment? Perfect love casts out all fear. Even for the weakest, most sin-ridden child of God, there is nothing but glory in that judgment. Redress, yes; adjustment, yes; recalibration, yes; but glory all the way!

  15. What was funnier than the video itself was the comment section under the video. Most of them were examples of the very things the video was poking fun at. You are right when you guys say that they don’t seem to think there is anything wrong with the manipulation on their part. Most of the comments were preachy and full of scripture references on “how” we should worship within the system and not about wither or not we should be manipulating people’s emotions at all.

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