Derwin L. Gray is a former professional football player and the founding and lead pastor of Transformation Church, a multi-ethnic, multi-generational, mission-shaped community with two campuses in South Carolina. He speaks at conferences nationwide and is recognized by many as the "Evangelism Linebacker." He is the author of Hero and Limitless Life. Derwin and his wife, Vicki, have two children.
What he Said … A Never-ending Climb
I'm not a fan of religion. I wasn't honest enough with that last sentence. I profoundly dislike religion. Let me explain what I mean. I define religion as humanity's attempt to reach up and earn God's acceptance, love, and blessings through good behavior or by keeping a specific set of religious principles or laws. In the historic biblical Christian context, this is called "works-based righteousness."
Religion, or works-based righteousness, paints a picture of a god sitting atop a high peak, waiting for us to scale the mountain through our good behavior or adherence to religious principles. The more "good" we do the closer we come to approaching our god. If we do something bad, however, the god on top of the mountain turns Zeus-like and throws a lightning bolt to strike us and knock us back down the mountain. After the electric shock wears off and our singed hair stops smoking, we dust ourselves off, pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and start the long trek all over again.