Mark-to-Model Religion

During the financial crisis in 2009 the accounting term Mark-to-Model worked its way into the common vernacular. The implosion of monolithic investment banks was blamed on the fact that assets were valued according to a theoretical model rather than what the market was actually willing to pay. The result was a collective revelation that some of these historic financial institutions were actually insolvent. The principle applies to religion as well, and especially the value of good works. Paul admits in Philippians 3:7 that he had a portfolio of assets, and according to the Jewish model, they had great value. He would have operated just like his fellow Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14. He was obedient to the Law of Moses, and the traditions and tithing that defined Pharisees of his day. However, when he met Christ these gains were immediately revalued. Jesus ruined his religious balance sheet and forced him to radically reshape his entire way of thinking. This must have been a breathtaking paradigm shift, but Paul proves you can be wiped out and still rejoice. If works are valued according to a false religious system, you must sell and start over. That’s Paul’s testimony.

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