My brother-from-another-mother Daniel Deboer has a great post up about what he calls “Guilt Factories” that’s worth reading. A snippet:
First you say that grace/faith is all that matters. Then you say that works flow out of grace. Then, as a result of that, you say that what God really cares about is your “heart”. Because if you heart is in the right place, your works are going to be in the right place too.
Then finish it off with a dollop of strictly enforced cultural norms, traditions, and piety. The piety is where it really gets intense, because the grace/faith you’ve been given is supposed to end up in works that are supposed to end up looking exactly like the received norms, the traditions, and the piety.
If you don’t have that piety, you don’t have the works. If you don’t have the works, you don’t have the faith. Either you (at best) have a “hard heart” or (at worst) are plain wolf among sheep.
That’s a Guilt Factory right there.
OK, that’s more than a snippet, but there’s enough more over on his site that if you’ve made it this far you should go read the whole thing.